The Sunday Mail
DONNING the Zimbabwe cricket jersey is a dream come true for Daniel Jakiel, a guy who loves cricket so much that he is always thinking about the game, even when he is on his motorbike.
In his other life, Jakiel works for a law firm as a messenger. Now, he is an international cricketer, who debuted for the Chevrons in the Singapore T20 tri-series last week. The 28-year-old’s teammates call him Malinga, a nickname inspired by his slinging bowling action, which was made famous by Sri Lankan legend, Lasith Malinga.
“According to the book of Isaiah, when the time is right, life will have a meaning. When the time is right, dreams will come true. When the time is right, the Lord will make it happen for you,” said Jakiel in a Facebook post after playing his first game for Zimbabwe.
In his two matches in the series, which saw Zimbabwe winning against minnows Singapore and Nepal, Jakiel picked three wickets and was impressive in his death bowling going at 6.28.
“I feel blessed man. I’m happy, it’s like a dream come true to be an international player and obviously to represent my country,” he told The Sunday Mail Sport.
The Mash Eagles bowler, who was the top wicket-taker with 16 scalps in last season’s Pro 50 Championship, revealed that he had some butterflies in his tummy during his first match.
“I was nervous before I got capped, but from there, I was a different player, knowing that was now an international player.”
Video calls with his family, talking to daughter Chloe and loads of messages from teammates calmed Jakiel’s nerves.
Workmates also cheered him on.
“I got so much love and support from them and I’m sure I made them proud.”
Jakiel admits that he loves cricket so much and sometimes he is lost in thought while on his bike doing his tasks at the law firm. It has been a surreal 12 months for Jakiel. Just a few months ago, he was a net bowler. During the World Cup Qualifier last year, the UAE made him bowl non-stop as he challenged their top batsman.
Even Australia coach was impressed by Jakiel, jokingly calling him “a spy under the guise of a net bowler”.