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Biography
Reinhardt Strydom
  • Born 16 June 1977 Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa
  • Educated Paul Ross Gymnasium, Stellenbosch; University of Stellenbosch
  • Occupation Cricket Development Officer Fingal County; Head Coach Malahide CC
  • Debut 18 March 2008 v Bangladesh at Mirpur
  • Cap Number 663
  • Style Left-hand bat, left arm medium pace
  • Teams Boland Academy, Malahide, Old Belvedere, North County, YMCA, PCA Masters XI, MCC, Phoenix

Reinhardt Strydom is the sort of sportsman most less gifted people would strive in vain to be. A batting all rounder, he is a powerfully built and free scoring upper order left hander, often taking strike at the start of an innings, while as a bowler he is left arm medium pace, well capable of using the new ball to effect. His sporting achievements and interests do not end there however. These days he is often to be seen on the golf course while in years gone by, as might be expected of one who received his education in Stellenbosch, he was a rugby footballer, an outside half of some talent, though he also found time to be a "striker" on the hockey field and to be more than capable of holding his own at tennis and squash.

This piece, however, will concentrate on his cricketing exploits, in which context we should not forget his brother Gerry who played a season for Lisburn in 2009 - they opposed each other in an Irish Senior Cup match - and also had a season with Himley in the Birmingham Premier League four years earlier, how that side could do with him now! Johannes Gerharadus Strydom, to give him his full name, scored 4549 first class runs at 31.72 with 9 hundreds of which 151 was the highest.

Reinhardt appeared for Boland Academy before his career in Ireland began, though his match against Lancashire in 2000 brought him little success. The county side included batsman Mark Chilton with whom he was to play for MCC against Malaysia and Singapore more than a decade later.

His time in Leinster Cricket began with Malahide in 2001, the start of a career which has brought him ( at the time of writing) 6842 runs at an average of 43.30 and 225 wickets at 24.40. Full records of the ISC are only available from 2003 but they are also impressive showing him to have scored 1130 runs at 43.46 and 46wickets at 19.95. He also proved a force in T 20 cricket, two of his most remarkable performances were made for YMCA are described below.

His two initial seasons with Malahide saw several noteworthy performances. For example in late May 2001 he hit an undefeated 64 against Clontarf in the first round of the Senior Cup, as Malahide successfully chased down a target of 261 to win by 4 wickets, this despite a fine 109 from Thinus Fourie. In the next match, a Traub League contest with Railway Union, he bowled an economical spell of 7-1-11-0 to restrict the Park Avenue side to 168-9 then saw his side lose three early wickets, before joining Joe Govan in an unbroken 4th wicket stand of 118, Reinhardt finishing on a belligerent 86*.

A season with Old Belvedere in 2002 saw him score a century in his first match with the Cabra Club 102* against The Hills, the game was, however, lost by 3 wickets.

For the 2003 season, however, he signed for North County, for whom he played until 2008, scoring, in Leinster League and Cup matches 2290 runs at 46.73 with 6 hundreds and 10 fifties, besides taking 66 wickets at 28.73.

His highest score came in the first match of the season, a DGM 45 over match against Rush at Kenure. Opening the batting with Conor Armstrong, he was happy to play second fiddle to the Irish all rounder, who made 40 out of an opening stand of 56. On Conor's dismissal Reinhardt took control, dominating the remainder of the innings and destroying the Rush attack. He finished on 170*, which remains his best performance in Leinster cricket, as North County closed on 322-4 from their 45 overs. They then disposed of their hosts for 99. His highest score in the Irish Senior Cup came that year also with Rush again providing the opposition, though the match - the Semi Final - was, on this occasion, at Milverton. In form from the outset, he and Armstrong once more gave their side a good start, putting on 115, before Conor was out for 56. In full control, Reinhardt went on to 104 from 45 balls with 1 six and 14 fours before being 5th out at 212. Finishing on 252-9, the Balrothery side, won eventually by 76 runs. They won the Cup as well, though not without a few alarms. Facing Donemana at Strabane, they were at one time 11-3 with Reinhardt and two other top order batsmen dismissed without scoring. The ship was righted by the invaluable Armstrong who saw his side to a modest but, eventually, match winning, total of 165. We should also mention a match the previous season at Milverton against Brigade when he and Conor again shared in a century first wicket stand to help North County to an imposing 297-7 against Brigade, Reinhardt making 90 and his partner exactly 100. The North Westerners were then dismissed for 183.

During his time at Milverton North County won both the Irish and Leinster Senior Cups three times as well as the early season 45 overs League once.

For the 2009 season Reinhardt moved through the City across the River to Claremont, spending the next five seasons with YMCA whom he captained in 2010 and 2011. The Club's website described him as " a key player", a comment which his performances amply justified. In Leinster League and Cup matches he made 3003 runs at 37.03 and took 117 wickets at 22.09. His best batting and bowling performances came at Claremont in the summer of 2011 with Railway Union and Pembroke providing the opposition. In June against Railway, YM faced a daunting task after seeing their near neighbours post 283-6 from their 50 overs, owing much to typically belligerent 78 from Trent Johnston. Reinhardt dominated the reply reaching an undefeated 150 as the hosts got home by 3 wickets with two overs remaining. He had faced 122 balls, hitting 16 fours and 6 sixes. The extent of his dominance is shown by the fact that the next highest score was Rob Garth's 35. However Reinhardt was, in a way, even more the match winner, in mid August against YM's other neighbours, Pembroke. Batting first YM were put out for 112. A win for the visitors seemed likely but Reinhardt had other ideas. Opening the attack he was soon among the wickets and finished with the remarkable figures of 10 - 4 - 11 - 6. Bowled out for 60, Pembroke lost the match by 52 runs.

He also had several noteworthy performances in the ISC for YM. In 2008 the Club began their campaign with a 117 run victory over Cork County, Reinhardt having been run out for 48 after a first wicket stand of 89 with Alan Lewis, the silver-haired referee going on to make 122, before Reinhardt, opening the bowling shattered the visitors chances by removing Nos 1, 2 and 4 in the order to finish with 3-223. They were it again in the next round facing Strabane in a match which was played on Merrion's ground at Anglesea Road. Facing an "ask" of 231 they put 137 runs on the board for the first wicket launching their side on its way to a 4 wickets victory. Reinhardt making 88 from 109 balls with 11 fours. The next match was against Lisburn where the name Strydom again featured prominently. Unfortunately for the Dubliners this was not Reinhardt but Gerry who topscored with 63 to see the Co Antrim side into the next round!

No account of his time with YM would be complete without reference to two remarkable T20 performances. Against Rush in the Alan Murray Cup in 2009, YM went in facing a formidable 172 to win. After a few overs there was never much doubt about it. Reinhardt was on the top of his form smashing his way to 98 before being out having dominated a first wicket stand of 135. He was, however, in even better form when YM took part in a pre season tournament at The Green in April 2013. Even the most hardened of Comber cricket watchers can never really seen anything like it as he stormed his way to 100 from 30 balls with 98 coming in boundaries., 14 fours and 7 sixes.

The 2014 season found him back at Malahide, the Club winners of the National Cup in 2013, were mounting a bid for promotion to Section 1 in the Senior League and badly wanted a player of his skill and experience, How well he answered the call! Forming a highly successful opening partnership with Fintan McAlister he made 827 runs in Senior Cricket at 63.82 with 4 hundreds and 5 fifties besides taking 31 wickets at 18.42. No one else scored more hundreds and only four others had more than his number of fifties, none of whom had more than his nine scores of more than 50 overall. He thus contributed greatly to Malahide winning Section 2 of the Senior League to gain the desired promotion, as well as helping them to the Final of the Senior Cup. Here they were defeated by Clontarf, despite his 48 from 44 balls. In the first round of the Cup he smashed his way to 145 against Railway Union, including 18 fours and 1 six from 167 balls a vital innings as, though Malahide reached 280-5, the Park Avenue batsmen led by a fine century from Dhruv Kapoor, responded in kind getting within six runs of their target. Reinhardt was again in form in the second round which saw an 81 runs victory over Phoenix, he made 94 putting on a massive 192 for the first wicket with McAlister. In the final full month of the season, he hit three centuries, possibly causing those bowlers who took him on to agree with Edna O'Brien ( no relation surely!) that "August is a wicked month!"

Against Leinster Malahide faced a total of 258-6, which they chased down with some ease to win by 8 wickets. After putting on 139 for the first with McAlister, Reinhardt went on to 155* off 144 balls with 21 fours and 2 sixes. Another hundred followed at the Mardyke in a match which, somewhat surprisingly the hosts won, their batting also being fired up as they reached 265-6, Malahide fell just short on 259-7. Undisputed man of the Match, however, was Reinhardt's fellow South African Stephan Grobler who had come to Cork by way of North Otago. Not only did he hit a superb 106 from 121 balls but he also took 5-34, his dismissal of Reinhardt being probably the key moment of the match. The final match of the month saw Reinhardt on song again as he destroyed the Rush attack with a totally dominant innings. The Kenure side could only manage 185-8 which was hardly likely to be enough. Malahide raced to an 8 wickets victory, Reinhardt reaching an undefeated 133 in the process,. he hit 12 fours, his runs coming from only 65 balls. His best bowling figures 4-14 came against Pembroke at The Village at the end of July. He thus prepared the way for an easy 6 wickets victory. He failed with the bat, being out for 19, but a McAlister half century removed any doubt there might have been. In all matches in this remarkable season he scored 1237 runs at 56.23 and took 41 wickets at 16.78.

Away from Leinster's senior cricket circuit, he has played at representative level for Leinster Lightings, in the T20 competition, The professional Cricketers Masters' XI in pre 2009 World T20 warm ups, and for MCC. He was, as noted above a member of the last named side's touring party which took part in a Triangular Series with Malaysia and Singapore in 2013-14 under the captaincy of Mark Chikton, but met with little success. He played a match winning innings for the Leinster Lightning against North West Warriors at Bready, getting the innings off to something of a flyer, hitting 35 from 14 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes. Man of The Match , though, was Max Sorensen, who, perhaps seeking to disprove some preconceptions about his bating, topscored with 38 from 27 balls before taking 2-17 from his 4 overs. The visitors won by 106 runs.

Reinhardt has played 19 matches for Ireland A and Ireland in non cap matches, scoring 737 runs at 43.85 with one century and taking 11 wickets at 22.18. His century came against Scotland A in the European A Championships at Granville, Jersey in 2010. in 2010. Added to his 2-49 won him the Man of the Match award as he almost saw Ireland all the way to victory chasing a target of 234. Putting on 90 for the first wicket with Niall McDonnell, he batted for 3 hours, faced 122 balls before being caught behind - mistiming a pull - for 108 with 10 fours and 2 sixes when only 7 runs were required. He had been M - o - M in the previous match also with an impressive all round display. Facing the Netherlands, who had decided to bat on winning the toss, he had figures of 10 - 6 - 5 - 2, the Dutch being dismissed for 86. Mc Donnell went for 0 but Reinhardt then savaged the Dutch attack making 43 from 18 balls with 3 fours and 4 sixes to set up an 8 wickets victory. He had played an important part in Ireland's winning the competition the previous season in the Netherlands. After failing in the opener against Denmark, he made an undefeated 36 in the second match against the hosts as Ireland, faced with a simple task won by 9 wickets. He shared a second wicket stand of 80*with Stirling (38). He also led the way with the bat in the crucial final match against Scotland, making " a whirlwind 64 from 40 balls" to set Ireland on the road to 198 and an eventual 78 runs victory.

Before Ireland began their World Cup Qualifying campaign in March 2008, they played a match against a strong Essex side at Abu Dhabi. Unluckily the game was reduced to 35 overs a side by rain. Batting first the county totalled 196-8. However Ireland made fairly light work of their task, largely thanks to Reinhardt who struck a match winning 73 from 94 balls with 12 fours, setting up a six wickets victory. He was also in fine form at Oakhill later in the year. Lashings, led by Richie Richardson, were restricted to 126-7, owing much to a half century from Phil Simmons, Ireland then lost John Hall without a run on the board. However, facing an attack which included England veterans in John Emburey and Alan Mullally as well as the raw pace of Tino Best, Reinhardt was in grand form. Helped in a match winning second wicket partnership of 85 with Andrew Poynter, he took Ireland to an 8 wickets victory making 71* in 63 minutes, facing 53 balls, hitting 2 for four and 4 for 6.

His best bowling performance came as part of a good all round performance. in late June of that summer when he led Ireland A against Bangladesh A. Opening the batting on a lifeless wicket which gave neither batsman nor bowler any encouragement, he made 41 in 32 overs, probably the slowest innings of his life, to topscore as Ireland made 159. He then took 3-33 but was unable to prevent the visitors gaining a lead of 106. However Ireland had little trouble saving the match after he (46) and Paul Stirling (52) had put on 110 for the first wicket. He made 31 appearances for Ireland in cap matches in 2008-2009, scoring 417 runs at 17.21 with a highest score of 49. His bowling was little used his best return being 1-63 against New Zealand in 2008, the infamous match in Aberdeen, over which it is perhaps best to draw a veil.

His 49 came in the Friends Provident Trophy (FPT) match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 2008. This was, of course, the game Ireland lost by 1 run, a superb unbeaten 93 from Kevin O'Brien - a trailer perhaps for happier days in Bangalore and Brisbane - just failing to take his team home. Reinhardt opening made 47 out of 91 scored while he was at the wicket before being run out, responding to a somewhat optimistic call from Andrew White. Some well known observers criticised him and Andrew Cusack for slow scoring in the middle overs, others preferred to praise his innings and his selfless effort to get White, in his 100th match off the mark. By common consent his best innings of the season was his 35 in the Warwickshire match at Stormont which finished in a 4 wickets win for Ireland. Facing a below par 211-7, Ireland were given a head start by Reinhardt and his captain William Porterfield. They raced to 49 before Reinhardt was leg before to Darren Maddy, having hit 5 fours and 1 six from 30 balls in 36 minutes batting. He also made useful scores 30 and 40against Bangladesh A. The 30 came in a T20 at Eglinton. Off 32 balls and containing 2 fours and 2 sixes, it launched Ireland towards what prove to be a winning total, though the key knock came from Andre Botha.

In the 50 over match at Bangor two days later he topscored with 40, 6 fours 62 balls as Ireland, needing only 111, ran out easy winners by 5 wickets. He also hit 33 against Canada in the Intercontinental Cup at Malahide, rain cruelly intervening to rob Ireland of a realistic chance of the title. He had, therefore ad a not unsuccessful first season, but in 2009 his form in the early FPT matches was uneven and, though he made 27 against Nottinghamshire, he lost his place and has not been seen in Irish colours since.

Reinhardt Strydom put a great deal back into the game . In 2015 he was Head Coach at Malahide and also Cricket Development Officer for Fingal County Council and involved with former YMCA team-mate Albert van der Merwe in the Dublin - Belfast Cricket Academy.

At the end of the 2018 season, Reinhardt announced his retirement from active cricket in Ireland and from his coaching and cricket development roles. Farewell notices in the press showed how much his presence will be missed and how highly esteemed he was through the Island. His last four seasons, the final three of which were spent with Phoenix, saw him add a further 2179 runs to his career total in senior cricket (Leinster competitions and the ISC) with 5 more hundreds including a highest score of 122. He also took 69 more wickets.

Edward Liddle, December 2018

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