Devon Conway: The inspiring journey
Destiny is king !!
Devon Conway of New Zealand becomes the first debutant in Test cricket to score a double century in England. Along the way, he shattered a number of records and scripted the most fairy tale test debut imaginable.
Born in South Africa in Johannesburg, Conway was supposed to have played for his country of birth. The 29-year-old southpaw’s initial struggles did not give any indication whatsoever of his subsequent meteoric rise to follow several years later. Devon Conway: The inspiring journey.
Conway played for Gauteng at the provincial level and scored runs. However, he struggled for Dolphins in T20 franchise cricket and never had a settled batting position. His career was never really taking off at all. Uncertainty with his batting spot meant his cricket never really gelled in the South African domestic set-up. He used to open in the T20s and bat five in ODIs. In 4 day games, he was never guaranteed any fixed spot if he played.
Finally, he sold his properties back in South Africa and settled in New Zealand. since 2017.
Change of country, change of home and change of luck.
New Zealand provided new opportunities for him. He joined Wellington Firebirds and was smashing his way to success in the Super Smash T20 event, which is the premier T20 tournament in New Zealand. His success transcended formats and he was scoring heavily in New Zealand domestic cricket which included a triple hundred.
The New Zealand cricket board was so impressed by his success that they offer him the central contract 3 months before he was given the green signal by ICC to play for New Zealand in March 2020.
Once he was selected for the shorter formats, there was no looking back. Used in the top order both in ODIs & T20Is he was smashing runs for fun averaging 59 in T20s and 75 in ODIs with strike rates 151 and 87 respectively. His aggressive batting was getting accolades.
The shorter format successes paved the way for his test debut at the most prestigious venue in cricket, the Lords cricket ground in London.
June 2 and 3 thus became the most momentous days of his career yet. On June 2, Conway opened the batting for New Zealand and scored his first test 100 on his test debut completing the landmark with a superb pull shot off an impressive Ollie Robinson. The next day after seeing New Zealand slump to 294/7, Conway shepherded the lower order particularly Wagner to reach his double hundred with a roaring pulled six off a rapid Mark Wood bouncer under gripping tension with last wicket standing.
Some of the most special records created by his double ton is as under :
1. First player to score a double ton on debut in England
2. Breaks 125-year-old record for the highest score by any batsman on debut in a Test match in England breaking Ranjitsinghji’s record of 154.
3. Only the 7th batter to score a double ton on debut.
4 . Highest individual score on a test debut at Lords.
5. Only the 2nd opener to score a test double hundred on debut.
From the rags of South Africa to the riches of New Zealand. Devon Conway is an inspirational story that will be remember by millions.
The lesson: Keep trying & Never give up on your dreams !!