Lance Klusener

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Lance Klusener
Personal information
Full name Lance Klusener
Born (1971-09-04) 4 September 1971 (age 45)
Durban, Natal Province, South Africa
Nickname Zulu
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Batting style Left-handed
Bowling style Right arm fast medium
Role All-rounder
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 265) 27 November 1996 v India
Last Test 8 August 2004 v Sri Lanka
ODI debut (cap 40) 19 January 1996 v England
Last ODI 19 September 2004 v West Indies
ODI shirt no. 69
Domestic team information
Years Team
1991–2004 KwaZulu Natal
2002 Nottinghamshire
2004 Middlesex
2004–2007 Dolphins
2004–2008 Northamptonshire (squad no. 4)
2006–2008 Royal Bengal Tigers
2010 Mountaineers
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC List A
Matches 49 171 197 324
Runs scored 1906 3576 9521 6648
Batting average 32.86 41.10 42.69 40.04
100s/50s 4/8 2/19 21/48 3/34
Top score 174 103* 202* 142*
Balls bowled 6887 7336 31735 13459
Wickets 80 192 508 334
Bowling average 37.91 29.95 30.40 31.50
5 wickets in innings 1 6 20 8
10 wickets in match 0 4
Best bowling 8/64 6/12 8/34 6/49
Catches/stumpings 34/- 35/- 99/- 82/-
Source: Cricinfo, 14 February 2016

Lance Klusener (born 4 September 1971) is a former South African cricketer, more specifically an all-rounder. He is known for his aggressive batting and his fast-medium swing bowling.

He is nicknamed "Zulu" because of his fluency in the Zulu language.

His high strike rate and career ODI batting average of 41.0 places him among the ranks of South Africa's most accomplished one-day batsmen. He also has a particularly impressive first class record, with a batting average of 43.0 and a bowling average of 30.0.


Domestic career[edit]

Klusener played for KwaZulu-Natal (Nashua Dolphins) in the domestic level in South Africa between 1991 and 2004. In 2004, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club signed him on a contract running until late 2008. At Wantage Road he impressed with his fired-up seam bowling and his hard-hitting in the low middle-order. Due to family bereavements back home, it was announced that his contract with the county will not be renewed at the end of the 2008 season. In late 2007, he started playing in the Indian Cricket League Twenty20 tournament in India for the Kolkata Tigers team.[1]

International career[edit]

Klusener made his Test debut for South Africa against India in Calcutta during the second Test in 1996/97. Klusener, at the time playing primarily as a bowler, took some fearful hammering at the hands of Mohammad Azharuddin, who at one point hit him for five consecutive fours, in his first innings of his debut but returned career best figures of eight for 64 in the second.[2]

Klusener will be remembered mainly for his contributions in One Day Internationals, in which he became feared as a hard hitting batsman and was voted as Man of the Tournament during the 1999 World Cup. He showed glimpses of his big-hitting in the years leading to the 1999 World Cup. His baseball-style backlift and thunderous hitting symbolised the tournament and his heroics nearly took South Africa to the final. He was also voted as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2000.

His international career has tapered off since then, due mainly to persistent ankle injuries, as well as a public dispute with the then South African captain Graeme Smith, who at a breakfast meeting shortly after his appointment to the captaincy described Klusener as a "disruptive force" to the younger players within the South African national cricket team, with the quote ending up in the South African press.[3] However it seems that Klusener and Smith have patched up their differences.[4][5]

He had scored 1,906 runs in 49 matches with a highest score of 174 and 80 wickets with best of 8/64 in Test Matches. In ODI's he scored 3,576 runs in 171 matches at an average of 41.1 with a highest score of 103 and took 192 wickets with a best of 6/49.

1999 World Cup[edit]

In the 1999 Cricket World Cup, South Africa had progressed to the semi-finals, and Klusener till then had an excellent tournament, taking 17 wickets and scoring 250 runs (including two half centuries) in 8 matches and building a reputation as a hard-hitting batsman in tight situations.

He won four Man of the Match awards out of the nine matches South Africa played in the tournament. The four awards were consecutive with respect to South Africa's wins (one match in between was won by Zimbabwe). The only other South African to win this award in this tournament was Jacques Kallis.

The second semi-final was played between Australia and South Africa in Edgbaston, England. Australia, having been put in to bat, set a target of 214 for South Africa to chase in 50 overs. Klusener came in to bat when South Africa were 175/6 in 44.5 overs, and by virtue of his big-hitting (along with support from other batsmen), South Africa entered the final over at 205/9, needing nine runs to win with only one wicket remaining. The two batsmen at the crease were Klusener (on strike) and Allan Donald.

Klusener scored consecutive fours in the first two balls of the over (bowled by Damien Fleming), levelling the scores and leaving South Africa with only 1 run to win in 4 balls with Klusener on strike. The third ball was a dot, and the fourth saw Klusener mis-hit his shot to mid-wicket fielder Mark Waugh. Klusener went for the run, although chances of a run-out were high and two balls were still remaining. However, Donald at the other end, keeping his eyes on the ball, did not see Klusener sprinting down the pitch and did not hear the call to run, and Klusener was almost at the bowler's end by the time Donald (who had also dropped his bat) began running. By then, Waugh had thrown the ball to Fleming, who rolled it to Adam Gilchrist who took the bails off at the other end, meaning Donald was run-out by some distance, thus ending the match with the scores level. However, a tie meant that Australia progressed to the final since they had beaten South Africa in the group stages of the tournament. As commentator Bill Lawry put it during the final ball:

"...this will be out surely – oh it's out, it's gonna be run out...oh, that is South Africa out – Donald did not run, I cannot believe it. Australia go into the World Cup Final – ridiculous running with two balls to go. Donald did not go, Klusener came – what a disappointing end for South Africa."

Australia went on to win the tournament, and although Klusener's heroics went in vain, he was voted the Player of the Series.[6]

In 2014, Klusener stated in an interview that Donald was not to blame for what happened. Klusener stated that he became impatient and, although he made it to the bowler's end, there was genuinely no run. After the match, he was cross at himself and regretted making that run.[7]

Coaching career[edit]

Klusener severed all of his ties with the Indian Cricket League in late 2009 and then completed a Level-three coaching course provided by Cricket South Africa in Spring 2010. Klusener confirmed he was in negotiations with the Bangladesh Cricket Board about becoming the team bowling coach. However, in early September 2010 the Bangladesh Cricket Board confirmed that they were still awaiting a response from Klusener.[8] Lance Klusener had finally turned down the offer to take over as Bangladesh's bowling coach, replacing Sri Lanka's Champaka Ramanayake. Klusener was reportedly unable to convince his wife about a permanent move to Bangladesh.[9]

In January 2012, he was appointed as the interim head coach of the Dolphins, whom he represented in domestic cricket during his playing career,[10] but was sacked during the 2015-16 season.[11]

Style of play[edit]

Klusener is an all-round cricketer known for his powerful left hand batting and right arm swing bowling. His batting averages are particularly notable for the peculiar fact that his ODI average is considerably higher than his Test average. This is a fair reflection of his aggressive temperament in shorter matches.

International centuries[edit]

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career

One Day International centuries[edit]

Lance Klusener's One Day International centuries
No Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
[1] 103* 49  New Zealand New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Eden Park 1999
[2] 101* 64  Zimbabwe Kenya Nairobi, Kenya Gymkhana Club Ground 1999

See also[edit]


External links[edit]