One on One With SA U19 Cricket Captain Aiden Markram

Thu, 30/01/2014 - 11:14

Aiden Markram is the man tasked with leading the SA U19 Cricket side to the world cup later this year in Dubai. The former Pretoria Boys High pupil let us get to know him a little better and what drives him to be the best he can be. This up and coming talent has a level head on his shoulders and will hopefully grace the international cricket stage for years to come.

Profile

Name Aiden Markram
Date of Birth 4 October 1994
Nickname "Aids" or "Pup"
Height 186cm
Weight 83kg
Achievements
Junior School
  • Northerns Indoor U13 2006(capt)
  • SA All Star Indoor Cricket U11 2005
  • Northerns Cricket Regional U12 2006(capt)
High School
  • Northerns Indoor Cricket U13 2006(capt)
  • Standard Bank Cricket U14 2007(capt)
  • Northerns U13 Soccer 2007
  • Gauteng North U19B 2010
Club
  • Northerns Amateurs 2nd Tier 2013
  • Titans Colts U23 2013(capt)
  • Titans U19 Cubs Week 2014(capt)
National
  • SA U19 Tour to India 2013
  • SA U19 World Cup (Capt)

HSSM: Tell us a bit about yourself? How did you start playing cricket?

Aiden Markram: I come from a sporting family and since I can remember there was always a ball of sort in the house… I think I got my 1st cricket set when I was 2 years old and have a photograph to prove it. A brief summary… I did all my junior school and a portion of my high school learning at Cornwall Hill College (CHC) in Pretoria. At junior school cricket and soccer were my passions. Besides the outdoor game I also played indoor cricket for a few years and played Club cricket for Villagers in Irene. In high school cricket started taking priority over rugby. A special thanks to my cricket coach Mr Bloemink for his guidance and support in my early days at Cornwall.

In 2010 I left Cornwall Hill College and moved to Pretoria Boys High. I was fortunate enough to start playing 1st team cricket in 2010 and then matriculated in 2012. Instead of a taking a gap year after Matric, I decided to join the Tuks Cricket Academy for the 2013 season to find within myself whether cricket was actually what I wanted to pursue… For 10 months we ate, slept, and played cricket. It was an awesome experience and the outcome… It’s something I want to do!

Under the wings of elite coaching staff at Tuks in Mr De Bruyn, Mr Smit and Mr Noordwyk I have been blessed and have learnt so much as well.

Cricket is my passion

HSSM: What motivates you on the cricket field?

Aiden Markram: Obviously personal goals motivate me to do well and try to achieve them. But I look mainly at how I can contribute to the team to help us win as I’m a very competitive person and the thought of losing is my biggest motivation.

HSSM: Do you have any routines or rituals that you go through before the start of the game?

Aiden Markram: A good night’s rest and a substantial breakfast. I used to be very superstitious but they no longer exist.

HSSM: What is your favourite position to bat?

Aiden Markram: I have always preferred Number 3. During the tour of India last year, as well as for the Titans U19 at the CUBS Week earlier in January this year, I opened the batting, so anywhere between 1 and 4 is good.

HSSM: What takes of your time when you're not playing cricket? What are your other hobbies apart from playing cricket?

Aiden markram: I enjoy my time off and spend it with my family and friends. I’m an avid BULLS supporter so a braai and rugby never disappoints.

Personal goals motivate me to do well and try to achieve them

HSSM: Last year you played in the quadrangular series against India and some other nations do you think that has prepared you well for the upcoming tournament in Dubai?

Aiden Markram: Yes, we played in India against India, Australia, and Zimbabwe. The subcontinent is another kettle of fish. A lot was learnt during our 2 week tour. Weather conditions, pitches, opposition, match intensity and of course the joy of winning and taking it on the chin when losing. Fortunately 10 players who toured India last year are in the U19 World Cup squad so it’s not all new for everyone.

HSSM: You also captained that under 19 side against India, the current holders in the quadrangular series, and won; does that give you and your side extra confidence going into this world up?

Aiden Markram: To be honest I was quite shocked when I was told that I would captain the second India game. We had already played India in the first leg of the round robin which we lost. You cannot go and play a side of this quality and experience with a 70% attitude as you will lose. The team needs to give it 100% which we did that day and we were the better side which gave us the win. So in my opinion, YES we can beat the best but we need to pitch up with the 100% attitude and the right game plan.

HSSM: What are your goals for yourself and the team going into the World Cup?

Aiden Markram: Playing the 2 warm up games in Abu Dhabi before we play 2 out of the 3 pool games which are also in Abu Dhabi will allow us to access the pitches and conditions which certainly will help. Not to take our POOL C for granted but we need to finish on top. The cliché is “take each game at a time” but as a captain - and I'm sure the coach agrees - we also need an end target. Not to be arrogant but my goal, and I'm sure each one of my team players, is to reach and win the final.

You cannot go and play a side of this quality and experience with a 70% attitude as you will lose

HSSM: Do you think that the team that has been selected is capable of beating the world's best and bring the world cup back to South Africa?

Aiden Markram: We have beaten the likes of India, Zimbabwe, and Australia last year… and England in the beginning of 2013 where a few of the current squad players played. As coach mentioned in his selection interview, our squad is very unique in 90% of us are all rounders. There are some magnificent fielders as well. It will certainly give coach and myself a headache when it comes to choosing the side to play on the day but what a headache to have in having 13 all rounders to choose from. The camaraderie is already there as I have been chatting via Whatsapp/SMS with a few of the players. There is an excitement amongst us which will grow tremendously when we meet for camp.

HSSM: How are you personally and the team preparing for the World Cup?

Aiden Markram: Fortunately the Premier League season has started in Pretoria so both Corbin Bosch and I have been training and playing league games for Tuks. The majority of the other players are training and playing within their respective franchises and some of the players are also back at school. The squad gets together on the 2nd February for a week’s training camp at Tuks HPC before we depart to Dubai on the 7th February. We also have 2 warm up games scheduled in Abu Dhabi on 10th February against Namibia and on 12th February against India before our pool games start on 14th February so I’m confident that we will have had enough time and preparation, but more importantly the opportunity to build the team spirit / brotherhood.

Commit yourself, learn from your mistakes, work hard both physically and mentally, sponge on all the advice you can get and finally respect…need I say more.

HSSM: After the World Cup do you see yourself pursuing cricket as a career or would you like to go into something else?

Aiden Markram: Cricket is my passion and love but I have started with my BCOM studies at TUKS this year. My goal is to pursue cricket as a career but let’s see what happens after the World Cup as this is my focus at the moment.

HSSM: If you could give some advice to kids aspiring to play for the under 19 South Africa side one day, what advice would you give to them to help them get to the level where you are at?

Aiden Markram: I was fortunate to play for the Northerns U13 Standard Bank side in 2007. However, I was never chosen to play for my province again, U17 or U19 (Coke Week or Cubs Week). This was not because I did not play well or did not have the hunger but that was life. Sure I was gutted and despondent but I was persistent that I would make it. Following up on an excellent 2012 year with Pretoria Boys High I joined the Tuks Cricket Academy in 2013. I trained and worked hard at my game, both physically and mentally and was given the opportunity to captain the Tuks 2 Premier league side. Through discipline and persistence during the first 7 months I was invited to the SA U19 tour camp for India and have not looked back. My aim in January at the CUBS week was get the Titans team to the final and to make the SA U19 squad, nevermind the captaincy that came with it, a huge honour. So advice… you will be disappointed at some stage, there is never an easy road. Commit yourself, learn from your mistakes, work hard both physically and mentally, sponge on all the advice you can get and finally respect… need I say more?

HSSM: Do you have a special lady in your life?

Aiden Markram: Yes I do. Nicole who is currently busy with her Matric at PTA Girls High and we have been dating close to 2 years. ϕ

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