Cricketers pick their favourites

'He hated batsmen with a passion'

Part eleven: Allan Donald on the most intimidating bowlers he has seen. This time: South African meanie Brett Schultz

Produced by: Gokul Chakravarthy, Suketu Mehta; Interviewer: Nagraj Gollapudi

July 23, 2013


Brett Schultz

'He hated batsmen with a passion'

July 23, 2013

Brett Schultz bowls, Zimbabwe v South Africa, Harare Sports Club, 15 October 1995
Brett Schultz: a different beast on the field Clive Mason / © Getty Images

Brett Schultz was probably the meanest South African fast bowler I have had the pleasure of playing with. He literally hated batsmen with a passion.

He was a tough character in the nets because he even hated batsmen in the nets (our guys!). So that's why I cut a deal with him that if he ever bounced me in the nets, I'd break his kneecaps! So we had an agreement on that.

He was one South African bowler who not only had a massive mean streak but also was unbelievably good at reversing the ball. In 1993 when we toured Sri Lanka, he ran through their batting order in the most magnificent manner in Colombo. He used to reverse-swing the ball both ways and managed to hit a few Sri Lankan batsmen during that series. Subsequently, Sri Lanka had to tour South Africa and they asked us if Schultz was playing. They weren't really looking forward to facing him.

He had a massive jump, was really strong on his action, and had great control over the ball. When it comes to having a mean streak, being ruthless, and just for the fact that he hated batsmen - he was, for me, the most intimidating factor in our team. Also, he was a left-arm quick and they are priceless. He was easily 90mph consistently. He is such a good man off the field but on the field he was a totally different animal.

I admired his ability to reverse-swing the ball, which was fantastic, and the way he used the crease was even better. It just came natural to him. That was something I was able to learn from him as a partner.

Unfortunately his career was cut short. He had a very heavy body and had huge knee problems. His career really went back around 1996 when he got up on the morning of a Test match and he had hurt his arm, and he never really made it back to the team. But if he were around for a few more years, the world would have taken notice of Brett Schultz. The impact he had in such a short span of time was fantastic for South African cricket.

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (July 24, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

@ njr1330: Very interesting points there about Zahid. Funnily, cricinfo has listed him as a "Fast-medium" bowler in his player profile. Even Richard Hadlee is rated as a "Fast" bowler on cricinfo, but not Zahid which is odd. In my opinion, there should be an extra category on cricinfo known as "Express". Bowlers like Zahid, Schultz, Lee, Akhtar, Thompson, Malcolm etc. ought to be appropriately known as Express bowlers.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

Brett turned out for my Cape Town club XI when he was on the comeback trail. It was the most entertaining warm-up I've ever seen. Cant remember who we were playing but the look on their faces was one I'll never forget as Brett warmed up in the nets..

Posted by   on (July 24, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

The best tribute i can pay to Brett is the Sri Lankan batsmen were trying to get to face Donald (bowling at 150+ in 1993) rather than Schultz!This guy hurt batsmen and was super,super aggressive-he swung the ball both ways with the new and old ball from both over and around the wicket,had a vicious throat ball and lethal yorker-think of Jimmy Anderson being left arm with Brett Lee's pace and Shane Warne's aggression.So sad that his career was over after his knee ops and carrying that big 105 kg+ frame (according to him in a recent radio show).Sachin Tendulkar and Pravin Amre still talk about his extreme pace today.

Posted by nafzak on (July 24, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

Mohammed Zahid was the fastest ever. Just ask Brian Lara and Carl Hooper. In fact, Hooper said as much..that Zahid scared him and that the ball was just a blur. He was faster than Akhtar by over a yard.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

I have seen little of him, but became his big fan.. it was Pakistan tour in which he got injured and never played again (at least international cricket)... really would be an awesome scene if he had been bowling with Donald in that era...

Posted by njr1330 on (July 23, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

'Posted by Purvu...' you mention 'a Pakistani known as Zahid..' I think this is Mohammed Zahid from the Punjab, who played several Tests for Pakistan. He was fantastically quick, especially against Sri Lanka [why always them?!] He was said to have been timed, on an 'unofficial' speed gun at 108 mph. He injured his back in Sri Lanka. Zahid emerged more recently in England, playing league cricket for Huyton and Liverpool CC. He is still coaching the kids at Liverpool [where he now lives]. I told my 2 boys: 'That man is the fastest bowler in history'. They asked him if this was so; and were stunned when, their quiet unassuming coach said: 'Yes it is'!!

Posted by   on (July 23, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

Mr Donald, you are even more intimidating than many other bowlers listed in this series of videos.. Will somebody articulate a word or two about the great man himself. I always loved to see him bowl, a cheetah like run up and then the jump and close yours eyes , the balls' in Mark Bouchers gloves. what a pleasure to watch you bowl

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (July 23, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

Wasn't Meyrick Pringle faster than Schultz? I'm not sure because it was a long time ago that I watched either of them bowl.

Another quick from the 90's who was absolutely rapid was Devon Malcolm. He picked a 9fer against the Saffers once (in an innings at that).

There were a few others as well like Patterson Thompson and a Pakistani quick known as Zahid......they say that boy was even faster than Akhtar at one time.

And while he wasn't really from the 90's, who can forget the best kiwi fast bowler since Sir Richard who went by the name of Bond. That man could've been better than Steyn but for his injuries. Here's predicting that Allan Donald will feature at least some of these names in the weeks to come.

And what about the great man himself? Goodness me, there was no more terrifying and relentlessly hostile fast bowler in the 90's than 'White Lightning' himself. Maybe only Waqar was really comparable with Allan in this regard....our perhaps not.

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (July 23, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

Great pick. Schultz was like a left-handed Shoaib Akhtar, fast and mean. I remember the Sri Lankan batsmen looking shell shocked in the home conditions. It's a pity that injury stopped him in his tracks, but it's a tough game for fast bowlers.

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