Born in South Africa, Devon Conway had to go through an eligibility procedure to represent the black caps. He qualified to play for the NZ Cricket team on 28 August 2020. Shortly after, he was awarded a central contract by New Zealand Cricket ahead of the 2020-21 season.
About Devon Conway:
Conway was raised on a huge plot of land just outside of Johannesburg. The family reared horses, chickens, rabbits, sheep and cows. His father is a former football coach at a local club.
Growing up, the South African batsman Neil McKenzie was Conway’s favourite player. Recalling an incident, he said, “One Evening, my dad said to me, ‘I know Neil McKenzie’ and gave him a call. When he passed me the phone, I quickly asked him, ‘How fast does Brett Lee bowl’ and McKenzie replied ‘Faster than your Dad’s car”.
Decision to move to NZ:
Conway’s decision to move to NZ was very spontaneous. He discussed the subject with his partner Kim while playing golf on a Sunday at Johannesburg’s Huddle Park Course. In his own words, “I said to her: 'I don't feel like my game is going anywhere here' and said that I'd be interested in moving to New Zealand. She said, 'Let's do it then.' I thought she was joking, but she wasn't.” If you were asked then to find best bwin bonus offers on whether he would being playing International cricket in a few years’ time, you would have been hard pushed.
Anyway, this was enough for him to pack his bags and move to NZ. When he arrived in Wellington, Conway was suggested to join the Victoria University Club by Robbie Kerr, the father of White Ferns Amelia and Jess.
There was no looking back there on as he capitalized on his opportunity and gave match winning performances for Wellington.
Performances before induction into International Cricket:
In June 2018, Conway was handed a contract with Wellington for the 2018-19 season. He justified the selection and smashed a double ton against Otago at the Basin Reserve during Plunket Shield season. The same year, Conway became leading run scorer in 2018-19 Super Smash with 363 runs in 9 games. As a result of his performances in domestic circuit, he was named the Men’s Domestic Player of the Year at the annual NZ Cricket awards.
In October 2019 during the 2019-20 Plunket Shield season, Conway registered a triple hundred against Canterbury scoring 327 not out. During the same match, he broke the record for most runs scored in a match by amassing 393 runs.
Conway carried on his form into the year 2020 as he became the leading run scorer in 2019-2020 Super Smash T20 tournament with 543 runs in 11 matches. In April 2020, Conway was again named the men’s domestic player of the year by NZ Cricket.
According to Wellington coach Glenn Pocknall, the work ethic of Devon Conway is incomparable and goes with similar standards to that of Kane Williamson. In his own words, “He just loves batting in the nets. If you look at his stats, you think 'how can he get better', but he's quite hard on himself and his performances and wants to get better statistically. He's not satisfied with what he's got. Underneath there's a huge amount of determination to get better. It's a pretty cool trait to have when you've absolutely dominated domestic cricket.”
It was only a matter of time until he donned the black cap. NZ Cricket selectors had been waiting eagerly for the qualification timeline to be finished so that they could include Devon Conway in the national squad.
Finally, on 27 November 2020, Devon Conway made his T20I debut against West Indies and struck 41 off just 29 deliveries. He bettered his performance in the second match making an unbeaten 65 in 37 deliveries. He again proved his worth in the ongoing T20I series against Australia scoring an unbeaten 99 off 59 deliveries to win the game for NZ.
Conway recently guided Wellington to the Super Smash 2020-21 title. He struck 555 runs from 10 matches at an average of 56.88 and a strike rate of 135.2 to finish as the second-highest scorer in the competition. He also struck five half-centuries in the tournament.
In the final against Canterbury, Conway clobbered an unbeaten 93 off just 63 balls to help Wellington win the final by 5 wickets and lift the Super Smash trophy.
More recently, in the 1st T20I against Australia, in a T20I where run scoring was not the easiest, with the ball swinging around a fair bit, Conway looked a class apart. After New Zealand were struggling at 19/3 in the first T20 of the five-match series between New Zealand and Australia, Conway ensured that the home team had a good recovery.
He ultimately ended up unbeaten on 99 off just 59 deliveries, smashing 10 fours and 3 sixes while batting at a strike rate of 167.80.
We believe the best of Devon Conway is yet to come and he is certainly a player to look out for in 2021.