Rory Keith Kleinveldt
March 15, 1983, Cape Town, Cape Province
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
A burly and bustling allrounder, Rory Kleinveldt came from the assembly line of South Africa's seam-bowling, lower middle-order hitting two-in-ones. Although his potential was never fully realised at international level, he excelled domestically at home and on the county circuit.
Hailing from a cricketing family - Kleinveldt's uncle Johnny played under the South African Cricket Board pre-unity in 1991 - Kleinveldt was involved in the game from an early age. He was a member of South Africa's Under-19 team which made the final of the 2002 World Cup, and after a stint with the South African Academy side, he was fast-tracked into first-class cricket by Western Province in 2002-03.
After several impressive seasons with Cobras, He was rewarded with a spot in the South Africa A side touring India in 2007, and finally a call-up to the national one-day squad in October 2008. He did not get a game though, and went on to have a disastrous T20I debut - he scored 3 and bowled a wicketless 20-run over. He had to wait two years for another chance, which he got at the 2010 World T20, but another forgettable outing saw him left out of the team again.
Kleinveldt finally got a sustained run in 2012-13 season, when he made his Test debut in Australia. He was picked as part of an all-pace attack to bowl on what was expected to be a spicy Brisbane track, but went wicket-less on a flat surface. Better performances came in Adelaide and at home in Port Elizabeth against New Zealand, but in an attack with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, Kleinveldt struggled to nail down a regular place in Tests.
In limited-overs cricket, Kleinveldt played 10 ODIs in the first seven months of 2013 but middling performances saw him lose his place. He continued to play as a senior stalwart for Cobras and initially looked to try and claim back his national place but fell behind in a queue of upcoming quicks.
In 2015, his career took a different path when he signed for Northants. He was their leading bowler in the County Championship with 57 wickets from 13 matches and played a role in their T20 run to Finals Day. That summer, Kleinveldt confirmed he had no interest in resuming an international career and furnished CSA with a letter detailing that when he went to play at the Masters Champions League.
Although that tournament seemed to require that players retire from all forms of cricket, Kleinveldt continued to play for Cobras and signed for Northants in 2016 as well. He was a natural addition to a county that revelled in its nickname of The Chubsters and his competitive edge made him an instant favourite, both with the ball and as an increasingly dangerous hitter. A career-best 9 for 65 on a green pitch at Northampton was one of the highlights and contributed to an unexpected Northants promotion challenge in 2017 which only died on the final day of the season. He retired a year later, at 35, after a combative period in which he took 140 wickets for Northants and produced several combustible innings.
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