Lungile Edgar Bosman
April 14, 1977, Kimberley, Cape Province
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
A hard-hitting opener and an archetype of the successful Twenty20 batsman, Loots Bosman was born in Kimberley in the Cape Province, where he was raised by his grandfather, and made his debut for Griqualand West at the beginning of the 1997-98 season. But despite some success with provincial and South Africa A sides, it was only when Twenty20 cricket arrived in South Africa that Bosman etched his name into his country's cricketing consciousness. Pro20 cricket's first outing came at the end of the 2003-04 season, and Bosman - who was now part of the Eagles team under the new franchise system - topped the batting charts with 219 runs at a strike-rate of 120.99 and a high score of 84* despite the fact that he was asked to bat in the middle order.
Bosman was a key figure in South Africa A's campaign in a triangular one-day tournament in Sri Lanka in 2005-06, but it was his exploits at home that earned him a call-up to the squad for the Twenty20 International against Australia in mid-February. His 22-ball fifty against the Highveld Lions in February was the fastest in the Standard Bank Pro20 series. Player of the Series in the 2006 edition, Bosman became the first batsman to score a century in the competition, reaching three figures in just 43 balls. He failed to get going in the 2007 final, but his contributions to the Eagles clinching the Pro20 title were enough to earn him a look-in for the national Twenty20 side. He missed the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 due to a back injury, though Bosman insisted at the time that he was fit to play and he was subsequently suspended for one domestic match after being found guilty of "unbecoming or detrimental" conduct by Cricket South Africa over comments made to a local newspaper about coach Mickey Arthur after he was left out of the squad.
Bosman turned down a contract with the Indian Cricket League in October 2007, instead signing up for the Mumbai Indians in the first edition of the Indian Premier League, though he couldn't make it into a starting XI. Bosman had a quiet international year in 2008, playing just one Twenty20 against Bangladesh, and at the end of the 2008-09 domestic season moved from the Eagles to the Dolphins franchise in KwaZulu-Natal. Initially named in a provisional squad of 30 for the 2009 World Twenty20, he couldn't find a place in the final 15, but in November of that year he fell one blow short of what would have been, at the time, just the second international Twenty20 century. Smashing 94 from just 45 balls, including nine sixes, against England at Centurion, he was also involved in a world record 170-run opening stand with Graeme Smith as South Africa racked up a mammoth 241 for 6.
Bosman finally made it to a World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean in 2010, but appeared strangely out of sorts and made just eight runs in two innings, failing to find the boundary once. Despite that failure, he was signed by Derbyshire as their overseas player for the Friends Provident t20 tournament in 2010, and responded in superb fashion, hammering 94 off 50 balls to set up a crushing 65-run win over a strong Yorkshire side in June.
As he heads into his mid-30s, Bosman's opportunities for South Africa may begin to wane, and though he will be remembered as a punishing Twenty20 batsman, it remains a mystery as to why he was never able to take his success in the format into 50-over or first-class cricket.
Liam Brickhill June 2010
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