Left-handed batsmen who keep wicket often catch the eye, given their penchant for the dramatic and the delightful. South African cricket is blessed with many who go by that description, and young Rubin Hermann is hoping to add his name to the illustrious cast.
“I’m a Pretoria born and bred boytjie,” the 23 year-old says with a straight bat. “I have played all my cricket in and around Pretoria. I was fortunate to go to Waterkloof and be a part of the teams and setup there when the cricket started to excel. I had the opportunity to play a lot of national tournaments there, including two T20 Schools Challenges,” he recalls fondly.
After his fine high school career at Waterkloof, the natural progression was a bursary to the University of Pretoria, where there was plenty of high-quality cricket to whet his appetite for runs and catches.
“I can’t speak highly enough about the exposure I got as a young player at Tuks and the setup there really allows you to take your game to new heights. It teaches you a lot about yourself and your game develops immensely with the quality of the tournaments and coaching that’s available,” he reflected on his formative years.
The Tukkies production line is one that is renowned across the country, and Hermann soon graduated to the Northerns first-class set-up. His weight of runs and athletic keeping had long caught the eye of the selectors, and his debut in 2017 was always a matter of time.
A century on debut confirmed his talent, but also his temperament. Rubin Hermann was going places, and a first-class contract in 2018 has gone one step further, with his 2020/21 franchise contract reward for the Sky Blues.
“The people I met at Northerns and shared the field with is my favourite memory because they really help me grow a lot as a person and as a player, I don’t think I would be the player that I am now without the people I had around me at Northerns.”
He had his tribulations at Northerns, which are all part of growing up as a cricketer. When he looks back at some of his best days in the Northerns sun, a couple of knocks stand out.
“Aside from the hundred I made on debut, I feel the century against North West this year was a massive one, because I went through quite a tough time before that.”
He found himself having to dig deep and find reserves of character, and that personal path of introspection made the knock all the more special. Making runs when the going is tough is always more rewarding than the runs that come when everything feels great.
Now, as he joins the Titans to complete the full circle that all Tshwane boytjies who play cricket dream of, Hermann is realistic about what is ahead.
“It’s really a childhood dream come true, because I grew up watching the Titans and aspired to play there one day,” he admitted.
“To finally be at the start of the Titans journey is really exciting. Hopefully I can make an impact, learn more about myself as a cricketer and grow as a person.”
In the Titans dressing-room, he knows that he will come across some of the very best players in the country. His mandate is to learn and soak in as much as possible, wherever the advice comes from.
“I can’t name a specific player I’m looking to play with. The Titans has quite a lot of Proteas in the setup, so it’s really awesome to be around that kind of experience and knowledge in the change room.”
Ultimately, of course, all Pretoria boytjies dream of their Titans exploits eventually opening doors to the ultimate dressing-room; the Proteas. For Hermann, that is also on the to-do list. But, he is not getting ahead of himself.
“I would love to make an impact in franchise cricket and become an important member to the team. Like everyone, I’ve got aspirations to play for the Proteas, but I think that will take care of itself if I focus on the Titans and learn as much as I can.”
School is officially out for young Hermann, but all the lessons that he acquired from Waterkloof, to Tukkies and then Northerns, will surely stand him in good stead, as he takes a leap into the big time and becomes a Titan.