“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up.
Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it,” said Michael Jordan, one of the world’s finest-ever sportsmen.
Multiply Titans’ leg-spinner Shaun von Berg encapsulates that Jordan spirit of figuring out how to climb a wall after previously running into it.
The 30-year old has been a spectator as 12th man on numerous occasions, which was never a testimony to his lack of skills. Rather, it underpinned the depth of the Multiply Titans’ squad and the range of options available to the coaches.
Yet, despite training hard every week only to hear on Thursday that he had missed out, Von Berg persevered and has just been rewarded with a call-up to the South Africa A squad that will clash with the India A team in an unofficial Test series starting on Saturday 12 August.
“It is one of the greatest highlights of my career, being given international recognition,” said Von Berg.
“I think the past few seasons I have dealt with setbacks or challenges by playing every game as if it was my last.”
“My support structure at home has been great. My wife, Ettrusia, has been an unbelievable fan and we have a great life outside of cricket. We have set goals for ourselves and our marriage and that has given me a healthy distraction from the game.”
Von Berg has been a decorated Multiply Titans player in the 2016/2017 season and such has been his impact that he captured 32 Sunfoil Series wickets at an average of 18.93 and a best match-haul of 10-113.
In the Momentum One Day Cup, he contributed with 15 scalps in just six games at an average of 18.53.
He also underlined his credentials as a bowling all-rounder by scoring 249 Sunfoil Series runs, which included a ton.
“I think my philosophy in first-class cricket of landing the stock ball on the same spot each time and not using the variations too much, has been successful.
“I have a few friends in other franchises who are batsmen, like Rudi Seconds and Pite van Biljon from the VKB Knights, who both told me that I get dip on the ball - I can beat batsmen through the air.”
Von Berg won’t enter the series against India A ‘cold’.
For Rishton in the Lancashire League, he struck an unbeaten 70 and captured four wickets on Saturday to win the game almost single-handedly.
During the league, Von Berg also produced a hat-trick and has carried a thin-looking batting order with his splendid technique. Von Berg has been underrated as a batsman for many years. In the 2013/2014 season he was the only Titans batsman to score a franchise century when the team was battling with their conversion rates from attractive forties and fifties to tons.
After 3108 first-class runs and 309 wickets, with 21 five-wicket hauls, Von Berg has reached the pinnacle of his career thus far.