LAUREN NEUHOFF

Katlego “KG” Sempe is a third-year sport science student and a batsman for TuksCricket second team. With the varsity cricket season around the corner, Perdeby sat down to talk to this rising star.

How long have you been playing cricket for?
My whole life. Actually one of the first things I got from my father was a cricket bat. I have been playing for Tuks for two years now, but recently took a break due to the tough competition within TuksCricket and I was offered a bursary to play for Tshwane Metro at the Sport School of Excellence, which was a great opportunity for me. I then came back to Tuks [after] I had a chat with [the] head coach, Pierre De Bruyn. He welcomed me back with open arms.
You guys are the Red Bull Campus Cricket world champions and also made a clean sweep in the club competitions this year. Who would you consider to be your toughest competition?
We’re just so confident that we go into a game knowing that we are going to win. After winning the Red Bull Campus Cricket, we just keep riding on that success to keep us confident in ourselves. We have only lost one league game in five years of cricket.
How is the new season looking for TuksCricket?
So far we have played five games and won all of them, with the help of the exceptional talent we have in our teams.
What are you looking most forward to in this upcoming season?
Everything. We are basically undefeatable, so another championship win would be great! We [are] competing in USSA (University Sports South Africa) now in December and we also have Varsity Cricket coming up next year in February. This will be the very first Varsity Cricket [we are competing in], which is exciting. We will be training in December for the Varsity Cup.
How do you improve on weaknesses that you identify?
I have a motto I live by: Identify the problem, find a solution and the fix the problem with the solution. I live by those three steps and just keep working [on] it until it is perfected.
What is your favourite format of the game?
Personally, [I like to play] three legged cricket. I was recently introduced to it and it is a lot of fun.
Who is your greatest inspiration in cricket?
My [batting] inspiration would have to be Michael Clarke from Australia. He is really mature and I take a lot from him. On the bowling side I find Jadje from India to be very inspirational as he shows a lot of courage and adaptability. He is also a left arm spinner just like me.
What do you think of the South African tour to New Zealand currently taking place?
I definitely back South Africa. [I’m] not taking anything away from [the] New Zealand cricketers but we need that confidence, especially because we are playing Australia in November in the T20s.
What advice would you give anyone interested in playing cricket?
It is a lot of work and the competition is very competitive. You can’t give yourself a one year plan to get into the first team, it takes perseverance and at least a three to five year plan because of how exceptionally talented the competition is.
What are your future plans with regards to your cricket career?
I’m just going to take it in steps and see where it takes me. Hopefully one day I will be able to play internationally.

Katlego Sempe. Image provided.

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