On September 14, 2023 legendary South Africa cricketer Keppler Wessels will turn 66 years old. The Bloemfontein-born cricketer is the only player in the history of the game to score Test centuries and 1000 runs for two different nations. His career began playing for Australia as he made his debut against England in Brisbane in November 1982.
He announced his arrival in international cricket in style by scoring a magnificent 162 on his debut. Wessels further scored 46 in the second innings to help his side win the match by seven wickets and took home the Player of the Match award. He went on to play 24 Tests for Australia, scoring 1761 runs at an average of 42.95 with four hundreds to his name.
During the second half of his career, Wessels captained the country of his birth following their return to international cricket in 1992. He played 16 Tests for South Africa scoring 1027 runs at an average of 38.03.
Wessels also played 109 ODIs representing both countries scoring 3367 runs from 105 innings at an average of 34.35 with one hundred and 26 fifties. His only ODI hundred came while playing for Australia vs India in New Delhi on September 28, 1984. His brilliant knock of 107 (133) was studded with 13 boundaries and helped Australia win the match by 48 runs.
He also led South Africa in their first-ever World Cup in 1992. However, the Proteas crashed out of the tournament due to a bizarre rain rule in the semi-final against England.
Wessels will always be remembered as the man who led South Africa’s resurgence at the international stage following their ban in 1970 due to apartheid. The rainbow nation took no time to assert its dominance once again on the cricketing world and became a formidable team in the following years.