Former warriors wicketkeeper and Canada captain Davy Jacobs cited safety and education as key reasons to his departure from South Africa.
Former Warriors Wicketkeeper batsman Davy Jacobs has been captaining Canada since October 2018 in international cricket. In South Africa, there are many players who although talented never manage to go on and play international cricket due to the competition which they face. Jacobs is one of them.
He was rather unlucky to have peaked at a time when Mark Boucher was the first-choice wicketkeeper for the Proteas and when AB De Villiers was considered as the backup option.
To many, Jacobs decision to go and play cricket for Canada of all nations will come across as a bit strange as he is representing a nation which is not traditionally associated with cricket. During recent years, there have also been a number of South African cricketers who feel that they may not get international opportunities locally moving to nations such as England and New Zealand to further their careers.
Jacobs route to international cricket was also not really a traditional one. He relocated to Canada in 2015 in order to take up a coaching role at the Ontario Cricket Academy but later decided to resume his playing career. Speaking to Forever Sports, Jacobs said that cricket was also not the main factor behind his decision. “The main reason for our move was quite simply safety, education and healthcare. My wife and I decided that we wanted to raise our two girls elsewhere, and all our research on those topics pointed to Canada. I had no real intention on being involved with any cricket, I just wanted to make a move. The cricket and everything around it was a surprise, and a pleasant one at that!” said the 36-year-old.
— Damilola Adeniyi (@damiadeniyi) October 15, 2018
Jacobs captained Canada during the recent 2019 ICC World Cricket League Division 2 tournament in Namibia. He managed impressive knocks of 52 against Hong Kong and 57 against the United States but was unable to prevent his adopted country from finishing fifth in the six-team tournament and being relegated to the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League.
Discussing the standards of cricket played in Canada, Jacobs said: “The standard is good. If you look at youth cricket at age groups up to around 18 or 19, there’s not a massive difference in ability, skill and talent, to what I have seen in test playing nations around the world. If anything, their match awareness is not as sharp, simply because they play less cricket, with our short summers and all that.”
“The real difference comes in after high school, when they go into the real world. In South Africa, for example, you can sign a contract at a young age, and play pro cricket, or even get a scholarship at a university, get your degree, and then turn pro. In Canada, there is no such thing. You work, go train afterwards at around 6:30 pm, and play over weekends.”