Sarel Erwee has quickly become a key figures for the Proteas Test team. Photo: Cricket South Africa/Twitter

MUST-READ: Proteas star Erwee adds to inspirational story

Sarel Erwee, who once considered walking away from the game, has once again impressed for the Proteas in a high-profile Test.


Sarel Erwee has quickly become a key figures for the Proteas Test team. Photo: Cricket South Africa/Twitter

After suffering a humiliating defeat in the opening Test against New Zealand in Christchurch earlier this year, the Proteas produced a much-improved performance in the second match, with Erwee most memorably scoring a superb century.

Erwee, who earned a long-awaited call-up to the Proteas as a result of his terrific form for South Africa A and Dolphins, batted with maturity and composure to score an unforgettable 108 in just his second Test appearance.


It was a vindication of his selection at the highest level after emerging as a standout performer in a three-match series against India A, where Erwee was the leading run-scorer with 251 runs in five innings, while in the domestic 4-day tournament, he scored 258 runs in three innings last season.

The 32-year-old has now seamlessly slotted into the Proteas Test team, adding much-needed stability to the opening pairing along with captain Dean Elgar.

In the ongoing first Test against England at Lords, Erwee again impressed as he emerged as South Africa’s top scorer as he compiled 73 from 146 balls as the Proteas progressed to a total of 289/7 at the close of the second day’s play.

“I do have moments where I look around and I say ‘wow, this is what it feels like’,” Erwee said. “The space that I’m in and the time that I’m playing cricket for South Africa is when I’m trying to do my best as possible.

“I’m trying to stay in the moment and not think about other things that can fill my mind. When there are small breaks, I’ll take time to look around and I’ll get a fuzzy feeling that this is the home of cricket.

“I try to control my thoughts and my body as much as possible so that it doesn’t overwhelm me because it’s a special place.”

Erwee has followed a remarkable road to Proteas stardom

Last year, in a fascinating interview for New Frame, the Dolphins opener revealed how he used lockdown to address a mental health issue before reigniting a career that was once under threat of coming to a premature end.

“Mentally, I was in a really bad place. I was taking my work home and my relationships with the people around me, people who cared so much for me, were not good at all,” he commented.

“I think we still have a long way to go in terms of our attitude towards mental health,” said Erwee.

“We are all fighting our own demons, regardless of being sportsmen or people in the spotlight. Not being able to talk things out with the people around you only adds to the issues.”


Erwee was set for a stint in England with the Weybridge Cricket Club, but ultimately the extended Covid-19 lockdown served him well.

“It gave me time to confront my issues. I looked for help and started working with a performance psychologist, Kirsten van Heerden. Just being able to talk through what I felt were massive walls was a huge burden off my shoulders.”

The 32-year-old has come back as a stronger and more resolute player, and the opportunity that awaits in England has now added another fascinating chapter to his inspiring story.