Cann relishing South African ‘homecoming’
When Wales face Pakistan in their opening game of the Over-50 World Cup at Claremont Cricket Club on March 6, there will be one man more familiar than most with the surroundings.
Michael Cann not only featured in the COVID-shortened 2020 tournament in South Africa, he spent eight years in the country as a professional playing for Orange Free State, Griqualand-West, Impalas and Boland.
The 57-year-old allrounder has four hundreds and 70 First-Class wickets to his name, and played with the likes of Hansie Cronje, Allan Donald and Nicky Boje. In fact, he even captained a Combined Bowl XI against Mohammed Azharuddin’s India during the breakthrough Friendship Tour in 1992.
So coming back to a place where he made so many fond memories is a dream come true for Cann.
“I know I'm going to run into people that I used to play against,” he says. “Someone like Louis Koen has already been in touch. We played together for the Impalas when I was at Griquas and he was at Boland, and then of course he went on to play for South Africa.
“So just seeing these people and playing against them one last time, it’s just going to be such a … I can’t describe what a joyful feeling it is. I feel totally blessed, to be honest!”
Cann, who also serves as the Wales Over-50s chairman and president of Cardiff Cricket Club, says the team has been working around the clock to make sure they are ready for the 2023 World Cup, which will once again be sponsored by Evergreen Lifestyle.
“We are certainly looking to compete,” he says. “It’s a tough group, but we will compete in every game, no doubt about it.
“We’ve been training and practicing harder than we ever have, and we feel we can compete with most sides. We beat the West Indies twice last year, so we feel we have a strong side. We have three ex-professionals.
“Wales is a very proud nation … the rugby is not going so well at the moment, so we’re going to have to step up!”
Wales are in Division B alongside India, South Africa, Pakistan, Namibia, England and UAE.
About Evergreen Lifestyle
Established in 2008, Evergreen Lifestyle is South Africa’s premium retirement brand with seven operating villages in the Western Cape and Gauteng, and a further six in the pipeline. The business began with a vision to change the retirement landscape in South Africa, offering a partnership for life based on five key pillars: physical security, financial peace of mind, continuous care, a sense of community and exceptional hospitality.
You’ll find Evergreen’s award-winning retirement villages in the most beautiful parts of the country, at the end of sun dappled country lanes, perched on majestic mountain slopes, and within walking distance of our beaches, rivers, and wetlands. And you’ll find vibrant fun-loving communities enjoying the finer things in life – like good food, great company, lasting friendships, and a sense of belonging that is enabled by the resort style facilities and amenities on offer.