South African star embraces North Devon CC challenge

Action from North Devon CC

Action from North Devon Cricket Club's Sandhills ground - Credit: Matt Smart

South African star Kyle Verreynne is the latest cricket to sign up for North Devon CC's Century Challenge charity fundraiser.

Verreyne was North Devon’s overseas player during the 2016 season when he was a rising star who had gone through the South Africa under-19 squad at home.

A season playing Premier Division cricket in the Tolchards Devon League helped Verreynne hone his skills and he has since gone on to play professionally for Western Province and the Cape Cobras.

Verreynne is currently on tour in Pakistan with South Africa, from where he has accepted a challenge to score a sponsored century in international cricket during 2021 on behalf of the appeal.

“It is an awesome initiative,” said Verreynne, who was not selected for the First Test in Karachi played last week, which South Africa lost by seven wickets.

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“Hopefully I do get an opportunity to play and if I am able to get a century that would be great.”

Another former North Devon player who has pledged himself to the charity challenge is Brett Mason, who came over from South Africa with Verreynne in 2016 to sample the UK cricket experience.

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Mason, a wicketkeeper-batsman from the same Western Province club side as Heathcoat’s former pro Malcolm Cloete, gave up his day job and became a Christian Missionary after he returned home.

Currently working in Lesotho, Mason will be doing 100 burpees a day throughout February to raise money for the cause. A burpee is a squat-thrust exercise with a stand-up added between repetitions.

Matt Dart, a former North Devon skipper, was among the first to sign up for the Century Challenge when current captain Tom Popham launched it.

Dart also committed to 100 burpees a day to sift some of the Christmas excesses and is ploughing through them.

“I can hardly move most mornings but it is going well,” said Dart.

Popham floated the idea of a fund-raiser on behalf of mental health charity MIND Devon early in the New Year.

Century Challenge participants commit to doing a hundred of something physical over a fixed period in 2021 to raise money for MIND Devon.

The target was £2,000 and within three weeks of going live more than £1,000 has either been pledged or raised.

Popham said he was delighted by the response to the appeal from players past and present.

“Kyle is a huge name to have involved and the more big names the better for the cause and the fund,” said Popham.

“It is great news that we've passed the £1,000 mark – and a massive thanks to anyone and everyone who has donated.

“We still have a long way to go. Although £2,000 is the target, we would love to go way beyond that and help as many people as we can.”

Details of how to take part or donate can be found on the NDCC Facebook page, or the newly created page, which can be found by clicking on the site and searching for North Devon Cricket Club.

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