Exclusive: The overdue rise of Proteas Test Player David Bedingham

Explore the remarkable journey of David Bedingham, the Proteas Test Player, as he reflects on his path from early setbacks to professional cricket, including a life-altering car accident.

Nathan Gogela
Nathan Gogela

Last Updated: 2024-05-15

Louis Hobbs

5 minutes read

Durham batsman David Bedingham in batting action during day one of the LV

David Bedingham who was earmarked to represent South Africa in his early 20s but only got his chance in the latter stages of his career. He recalls a few speed bumps on the way he had to overcome which moulded him both as a player and as a person.

David takes us through his upbringing, childhood and the love for cricket. Born in George, South Africa. Attending the same school as the cricketing great Jacques kallis. He also played rugby at the school representing the 1st XV for 2 years alongside the likes of Sikhumbuzo Notshe who is a Springbok with six appearances.

“I was born in George and stayed there until I was 7 years old, my dad had changed jobs and we had to relocate to Cape Town. I attended school at Table View Junior, a co-ed school. I remember playing Wynberg in a cricket match and I did quite well there, they (Wynberg Boys School) offered me a bursary.”

“Moving to Wynberg we had to relocate to the Southern Suburbs in Cape Town. I played my rugby and cricket at Wynberg Boys High. Moving to the school was the first step into seeing what cricket tradition is really about. I learnt from all my coaches in both rugby and cricket at the school until matric”

Life as a professional Cricketer

David after school represented South Africa u19, Stellenbosch University, Northerns, Western Province and Boland before departing for Durham a few years later. He admits he got lost in the cricket system straight after school.

“I kind of got lost in the system a bit straight after high school, as I thought I would make it but I don’t think I worked hard enough. The move to Stellenbosch University helped a bit as I started studying and playing for Maties (Stellenbosch University sports teams’ name) under Andrew Wiley, I began performing for them and then got a call-up to Boland. Boland was a cool and different environment to Western Province, as I met new people and new experiences. I think I grew quite a bit there as a cricketer and a person.”

Speaking about his time with the South Africa u19 side in 2013, which had the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Aiden Markram who later become Proteas players.

“I think I was quite lucky, Kagiso Rabada was my roommate. He is quite chilled. He likes to DJ, listen to music and chat. I learnt a lot under Ray Jennings, who is quite an intense coach and scary at times. He instilled a lot of discipline which was needed for players 18 and 19 years old.” 

Image Credits: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Image Credits: Stu Forster/Getty Images

The car accident, which changed his approach to Life and Cricket

“I was at a golf day in Stellenbosch, it was a hot day. The event started at 8am and I played until lunch. After the golf day, I dropped my mate off at hostel. As I was driving back home in Cape Town, I drove into another car. I don’t exactly know what happened but I think I fell asleep behind the wheel. I broke my femur, hand and jaw. When I came back to playing again, I played for Maties 3rd team, since then I scored runs again and my confidence grew. In a way I think the accident changed my hunger for the game and changed me as a person.”

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I was out for 1 year and Stellenbosch University helped a lot with the recovery process.

David Bedingham

The move to the UK and playing cricket

“I don’t really like talking about my move to the UK but when I first moved over it was tough, during covid and on my own for a few months in a small apartment. I brought my small family over the following year. It was a new experience for me and at the time, I could play as a local in England. Many people have asked me if I regret moving over, but in all honesty I don’t. I grew both as a player and as a person here. The conditions, meeting different people, the cricket style is different. The move this side was risky but made me the person I am.

Playing for the Proteas Test Team

“I got called last year August by Shuks (Shukri Conrad) he said I would be involved with the national set up. Which was an honour but when it happened I started getting nervous but the motto which always stuck with me is basically to enjoy the moment. Shuks is quite transparent and when I got called up for the India series it was quite a shock really but cool moment.”

“I know it’s a cliché but it’s really what every cricketer dreams of as a kid of to represent their country. It was quite special and cool for myself, that my hard work has paid off and being rewarded. Looking forward, it’s just about making the selection a common occurrence and enjoy every moment.

National Contract Snub

After a standout debut season with the Proteas test team, he finished with a batting average of 49.57. After the 2023-24 national season concluded, national contracts were given out and unfortunately, he missed out on a national contract. At the time, he was still playing for Western Province in the CSA T20 competition. Immediately after they announced the national contracts he departed for UK again, to prepare for the County season for Durham.

“I think people thought I left again because I didn’t get the contract but it was always the plan to come back earlier to prepare for the County season. I obviously would’ve liked to be contracted but I only played 4 test games so I’m not too fussed about it. My biggest goal now is to play and do well for South Africa and be in the mix for the next 5 years

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Nathan Gogela
Nathan Gogela Sports Writer

Nathan has over a decade of knowledge and experience, both as a former professional sportsperson and journalist. Nathan, a former radio sports presenter and producer is an award-winning community radio sports producer/presenter.