Dayyaan Galiem turned a lot of heads with his performance against DF Malan, most notably the Western Province cricket selectors who have made him the youngest member of this year's u19 squad. The DF Malan game was no one-off though, as Galiem has shown strong performances throughout his young career including a recent Player of the Tournament award at the International Cricket Challenge held in Malaysia. At 15 years old, Dayyaan already has a solid teams record:
- u13 A Western Province cricket side (age 13)
- u15 A Western Province cricket side (age 14)
- 1st XI cricket Rondebosch Boys High School (age 15)
- u19 A Western Province cricket side (age 15)
HSSM's Sazi Luke had a chat with the up and coming talent to get his take on his success, his cricket, and what it takes to make it.
HSSM: Dayyaan, tell us a bit about yourself and when you started playing cricket.
Dayyaan Galiem: I started when I was very young… I first held a cricket bat when I was like two, and my dad started underarming some ball.
HSSM: Is there a cricketing background in your family?
Dayyaan Galiem: My father played cricket, and actually my grandfather played for South Africa. But obviously because of apartheid he played for the coloured side only.
HSSM: Who were your cricket role models growing up, and who has been the biggest influence so far?
Dayyaan Galiem: It’s probably my dad. He just pushes me emotionally, physically, and markets me very well. Dale Styne and Jacques Kallis, that’s my favourite bowler and batsman.
“all I do is try playing cricket and not worrying about things that happen around me”
HSSM: When did you start taking your cricket seriously and not just as an afternoon school extracurricular?
Dayyaan Galiem: Since twelve I started taking cricket seriously, and then kept on going from there. I just wanted to be that famous guy… and my dad was pushing me in that direction.
HSSM: So has there been pressure on you from your school and family regarding your cricket?
Dayyaan Galiem: No, not really. Not much pressure from my family. I don’t know much about other people; all I do is try playing cricket and not worrying about things that happen around me and stuff like that. I just try focusing on when I bat and when I bowl.
“at the start of this year I didn’t even think I was going to make 1st team”
HSSM: There must be some pressure on you, especially when looking at your achievement of being a 15 year old grade 9 who is playing at u19 level for his province, and the media attention you got after that famous DF Malan 20/20 game in which you scored 196 runs off 76 balls and took 9/1 wickets in 7 overs.
Dayyaan Galiem: There probably is just a bit of pressure, but I’m still very young. I got a lot of media attention after that game, just like interviews and stuff.
HSSM: Did your friends treat you any differently at school, or even made fun of the attention you were getting?
Dayyaan Galiem: Everything was fine; people just started talking about it a bit more.
HSSM: You have had quite a good start to this year’s cricket season, what do you attribute that to?
Dayyaan Galiem: Just work hard is the main thing, and some mental stuff.
HSSM: Were all these achievement (i.e. making u19 WP, and DF Malan game) your goal going into this year, or was most of it unexpected?
Dayyaan Galiem: All of it was probably unexpected, at the start of this year I didn’t even think I was going to make 1st team, I didn’t think I was going to play Coke Week. I just thought I was going to go to u16 and maybe next year push for the 1st team.
HSSM: So what has been your biggest achievement this year?
Dayyaan Galiem: Making u19 province.
HSSM: Do you feel you have a chance to make the SA u19 this year based on your performance?
Dayyaan Galiem: I don’t know hey… I have a big disadvantage, and even if I do do very well at the Coke Week they might take into consideration that I’m too young. But ja, I think I have a chance of making the SA u19.
“I was just born with it.”
HSSM: Rondebosch Boy’s High School has 20 players at provincial level this year, do you feel that creates healthy competition within cricket at your school?
Dayyaan Galiem: Ja, there is a lot of players and talent at the school, but you just have to keep on trying and work hard. There is obviously going to be competition, but we all play together and just gel as a team. But obviously when it comes to province stuff there is competition.
HSSM: So how did you come about playing for the u19 Western Province when you’re only 15?
Dayyaan Galiem: I don’t know [laughs]… Apparently I was supposed to go for u17 and u19 trials after I went to u15 trials that Sunday, but I ended up not going because I had Rondebosch games. But I did go on the last trials and I scored like 42 not out and I just made it after that.
HSSM: Which is your favourite form of the game, is it 20/20 or 50 overs? Because looking at your stats, you are equally impressive on both forms.
Dayyaan Galiem: I like the longer version, test games, ‘cause you can just bat all day.
HSSM: What do you attribute your qualities to, as you play beyond the standard we would come to expect of a 15 year old?
Dayyaan Galiem: I don’t know hey… I’m just confident, and believe in myself. I was just born with it. But my dad did teach me when I was younger to not be negative, and that has helped me a lot thinking positive all the time.
HSSM: What is your goal for this year going into next year?
Dayyaan Galiem: To score as many runs as possible and take as many wickets as I can. And probably if I’m lucky play SA u19.
HSSM: There have been some comparisons between you and Jacques Kallis from the media. Do you feel that is a bit unnecessary at this stage of your career?
Dayyaan Galiem: It’s probably unnecessary now to call me that, but I don’t dislike it as well. I’m still very young, maybe when I’m 18, 19 maybe, but not now.
HSSM: You have already achieved quite a lot at high school level and you’re only in Grade 9, do you feel like there won’t be much for you to want to achieve once you get to grade 10, 11, and 12?
Dayyaan Galiem: There is plenty to achieve. Trying to break highest scoring records and stuff like that. There is always something to play for.
“Playing for SA. I can see myself there, but it is going to be a very long journey.”
HSSM: Do you feel your rapid growth in cricket will quicken the process of you making it at a professional level?
Dayyaan Galiem: It’s obviously going to help me get there quicker, I mean I’m going through the ranks quickly. But I can’t now say that I’m high already and I don’t need to keep on working hard. I have to work very hard and just play hard.
HSSM: Have there been any approaches yet from the cricket franchises?
Dayyaan Galiem: I don’t know yet because my dad deals with that. At this stage I’m playing for the love of the game, but everyone one wants to be famous.
HSSM: What goals do you have for your career, and where would you like to see yourself playing in the next six years?
Dayyaan Galiem: Playing for SA. I can see myself there, but it is going to be a very long journey.
HSSM: What else do you play besides cricket at your school?
Dayyaan Galiem: I play squash in winter, and I played rugby this year but I’m stopping next year.
HSSM: Why is that?
Dayyaan Galiem: Just trying to prevent injury, and people are telling me not to play. I mean I’m much further ahead in cricket then I’m in rugby. But people say I can if I work hard at rugby.
HSSM: Which side did you make in rugby?
Dayyaan Galiem: I’m in the B’s, but I mean like it’s a long story… People would ask me why I’m in the B team and stuff like that. But at the start of the season I wasn’t really tackling.
HSSM: Any special lady in your life at this moment?
Dayyaan Galiem: No one yet… haha. ϕ