Birthday special: Lance Klusener – The feisty South African all-rounder


Former South Africa cricketer Lance Klusener is hailed as one of the best all-rounders to have played for South Africa. The former Proteas great who was known for his aggressive batting style and swinging deliveries turns 52 today. After hanging boots on his stint as a prolific all-rounder of South Africa, he started plying his trade as coach of various domestic and national teams.

Career highlights

Klusener marked his Test debut in the year 1999 against India and played primarily as a bowler. During the first innings of the game, he was hammered ruthlessly by Mohammad Azharuddin who smashed him for five consecutive fours. However, what happened next would be remembered by all the SA fans and Klusener forever. After being hammered first, he returned with his career-best figures of 8 for 64.

It has to be noted that though Klusener played both formats for South Africa, he is mainly remembered for his immense contribution in the ODIs where he developed his image of being an aggressive batsman. He was voted as the man of the tournament during the 1999 World Cup as he displayed signs of big-hitting on the roadway to the same World Cup. He was also named as the Wisden Cricketer of the year in the year 2000 for his epic display of cricketing action at the international level.

His career was marred post this due to ankle injuries and a rift with then South Africa captain Graeme Smith. During a press conference, Smith referred to Klusener as a ‘disruptive force’ to the youngsters of their national squad. However, they later sorted their differences.

Klusener played 49 Tests for South Africa while accumulating 1906 runs under his belt with four centuries and eight half-centuries. His top score in Tests was his brilliant knock of 174 runs and he picked 80 wickets across the same format with 8/64 being his best figures (against India). Talking about his ODI stint, he played 171 matches for his national team by collecting 3567 runs.

He maintained the batting average of 41.10 in the ODIs while smashing two centuries and 19 half-centuries. He picked 192 wickets with 6/12 being his career-best figures. Talking about his coaching stint, he served as coach of many domestic teams like Dolphins, Lyca Kovai Kings. In 2016, he served as batting coach of Zimbabwe before being finally appointed as head coach of the Afghanistan national cricket team.