A Father’s Commitment
Dawid Malan, the distinguished cricketer, has experienced the birth of his children synchronising with his cricketing commitments for England. Almost three years prior, he found himself in Hobart, a staggering 11,000 miles away from home, during the final Ashes Test. A message from the dressing room informed him of his wife, Claire, going into labour prematurely, leaving him to connect with her via video call. Post the Test, Malan rushed back to Harrogate to meet his newborn daughter, Summer Skye, while Claire and the baby were still in the hospital.
The Arrival of Junior
This time, the Malans were more prepared, with Dawid being in the right hemisphere. However, the journey wasn’t without its hiccups, including a false alarm and a hurried return from Cardiff for the birth of baby Dawid Johannes Malan, named Junior by Claire. Junior’s anticipated arrival kept Malan on his toes, travelling home frequently amidst his commitments during The Hundred.
The Struggle for Form and Place
Malan’s form was under scrutiny as he was named in England’s squad for the World Cup but was subsequently dropped by Trent Rockets. The stress from off-field events and the media scrutiny made it a challenging time for Malan. However, the birth of Junior brought immense relief, allowing Malan to return to cricket with a clear mind and focus.
Proving Worth with Stellar Performances
Malan silenced critics with his match-winning performances, securing his place in India as England’s first-choice opener alongside Jonny Bairstow. His impressive records in white-ball cricket are hard to match, with his average and strike-rate surpassing many renowned cricketers. Despite his achievements, Malan often finds himself on the verge of being dropped, something he finds frustrating yet motivating.
The Scepticism and the Approach
The scepticism surrounding Malan’s place in the team is perplexing. Some believe there isn’t room for him and Joe Root in the same ODI side. Malan’s approach to the game is focused on winning rather than the manner of scoring. He values contributing to the team’s victory, even if it means scoring at a slower rate.
The World Cup and Beyond
Malan, now 36, is in India, eyeing his second World Cup winner’s medal. This 50-over World Cup is likely his first and last, and he might be contemplating his future in international cricket post the tournament. Malan, who debuted internationally at 29, has achieved a lot in a short span, including topping the ICC’s all-time T20 batting rankings. He remains a fighter, constantly striving to improve and influence games.
Life Beyond Cricket
Post his cricketing career, Malan aspires to be a stay-at-home dad, enjoying his time with his daughter at soft play. He hopes to continue making scoring runs seem as effortless as child’s play for a bit longer.