It’s a huge summer of white-ball cricket in Wales with both the ICC Champions Trophy and international and domestic T20 matches landing in Cardiff. One man with an interest in it all is Glamorgan’s South African batsman Colin Ingram.
The left-hander was the Blast’s leading run scorer in 2016 and has tipped his native South Africa for ICC Champions Trophy success this summer where Glamorgan’s headquarters will play host to four matches in June, including a semi-final. The South African side is currently ranked number one and Ingram has pinpointed key men who can propel his country towards the trophy.
“I’m massively excited for this year’s Champions Trophy,” said Ingram. “It’s fast and furious cricket and you need to start winning games very early. All the sides hold the tournament in high regard, because it shows where you are at with your ODI cricket. I rate South Africa’s chances really highly. I think we’ve got an organised side with some really big players back from injury. With guys like Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers, I really like the brand of cricket they are playing at the moment, so I think they can do well.”
South Africa reached the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy four years ago and Ingram played a pivotal role in their journey before stepping back from the international scene later that year.
“I was fortunate to be part of a Champions Trophy that was in the UK and it was a great event, and a tournament that I thoroughly enjoyed,” he said.
“Cricket is supported massively in Cardiff, and we get great crowds in for all ODI games down at The SSE SWALEC.”
The ICC Champions Trophy (1-18 June) will see the best players compete in what’s been described as a mini-World Cup this summer. To complete a feast of international cricket in Cardiff, Ingram’s countrymen will also face England in the final match of a threegame NatWest International T20 Series, a week after the Champions Trophy tournament final.
As well as backing his old team for Champions Trophy success, Ingram is hoping for his best season yet with the county as he prepares for this year’s NatWest T20 Blast campaign.
Ingram topped the batting averages in both the T20 Blast and One-Day Cup with a total of 869 runs for Glamorgan, as well as taking 15 wickets and being awarded the 2016 PCA MVP and T20 Blast Player of the Year award.
”It’ll be tough to repeat last year (in white-ball cricket),” said Ingram “but I’m coming with every intention to do that. It was a special season but I’ve had those in the past.”
Ingram, 31, who has made 40 appearances for South Africa, helped his Warriors team to the final of both limited-overs competitions in his native country before returning to Cardiff in March.
“It’s great to be back and probably the fittest I’ve been in the last two years. It took a lot longer than I thought, but fortunately having months away to get it sorted and spending some time in the middle since, it’s nice to get back into it.”
So far this season Ingram has enjoyed success on all fronts after recording career best List A performances with both bat and ball, as well as signing a new contract with Glamorgan and receiving his County Cap.
Ingram struck a List A career best 142 at The SSE SWALEC as Glamorgan edged a 1-run win against Essex Eagles in the 50-over cup competition in May. The left-hander will extend his stay with the Welsh County for another two years after he signed a contract to continue playing white-ball cricket until at least the end of the 2019 season.
“I am delighted to commit to Glamorgan,” said Ingram. “I’ve been made very welcome at the club and have made a lot of friends so it was an easy decision to extend my time here. Being presented with my Glamorgan cap by Club legend Alan Jones was a great honour so I’m determined to continue delivering my best for the Club and myself.”
Visit www.glamorgancricket.com for information about this year’s international and domestic cricket fixtures in Cardiff
Springbok Ingram relishing packed summer of one day cricket
”It’ll be tough to repeat last year (in white-ball cricket),”