Minor League Cricket Player Spotlight: Joshua Tromp

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Joshua didn't make the cut at the MLC but got first hand experience of professional cricketing environment. (Pic: Brett Tromp)
Joshua didn't make the cut at the MLC but got first hand experience of professional cricketing environment. (Pic: Brett Tromp) © Getty

Right from the time of their conception, twins Joshua Tromp and Matthew Tromp have been two peas in a pod. Besides the strikingly similar appearance, the duo has been on an even keel from academics to sports. According to father Brett Trump, despite placing them in different classes at school, the brothers would often end up scoring the same marks. Natural athletes that they were, they would then go on to match each other stroke for stroke at cricket, tennis, and golf.

"They were quite good at tennis too, playing for their province in their age group side in South Africa. There are below zero handicap golfers. But of course, being blessed with more of a talent for cricket, that sport took over as they represented their provincial Gauteng U-16 side together. None was better than the other," said Brett Tromp, the father of the eighteen-year-old twins, who now resides in Austin, Texas after deciding to relocate from South Africa in 2022.

The brothers were on par in their abilities but as luck would have it, seam-bowling all rounder Matthew nosed ahead of the wicket-keeping batter Joshua after getting more opportunities playing for the Houston Hurricanes last year. In a matter of months, he was on a plane to Pakistan to play the Pakistan Junior League, as he stood his own amongst some of the most elite U-19 talent from around the globe. He further broke through as Seattle Orcas' U23 pick on the MLC draft. Naturally, a bit apprehensive about the diverging career trajectories of his twins, Brett's concerns were alleviated by Joshua's maturity and resolve.

"Josh's been incredibly mature. He said to me, that I wasn't ready to be picked, that I'm going to use this year's major league to show them that I deserve to be picked next. And he made sure he drove down to Dallas to be with his brother. He slept in his brother's room in the team hotel. He was there supporting him 100%. And I was so proud. As a parent, he never once said, 'Oh, I'm upset. Not ready this time. I didn't do enough to even be selected. But I'll show them in the minor league that I can play and I'll be selected next year'," added Brett.

Joshua didn't make the cut at the MLC but got first hand experience of professional cricketing environment by sharing Matthew's hotel room and being in the vicinity of some great players like and countrymen like Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen and Wayne Parnell. Matthew would come back from training and share the tricks of the trade imparted by some senior players and coaches. At times, Matthew would even assert how we was able to step up to the might of these stars at training, which gave him a sense of belonging. That resonated well with Joshua who knew he was in lockstep with Matthew in terms of cricketing ability. Taking a lot of heart from Matthew's belief is his own game, Joshua felt a sense of belonging towards the big stage.

Like two peas in a pod. Matthew Tromp and Joshua Tromp (Pic: Brett Tromp)
Like two peas in a pod. Matthew Tromp and Joshua Tromp (Pic: Brett Tromp) ©Cricbuzz

After an unremarkable season at Dallas Mustangs last year marred with dearth of opportunities to bat, Joshua joined his brother at Houston Hurricanes as Hurricanes manager Mangesh Chaudhary guaranteed him a spot to bat higher up the order. This time around Joshua needed no second invitations to come to the party, lighting up Central Division's opening weekend with two half centuries in as many games. He led a spirited Hurricanes chase with a 52 off 38 deliveries against a slew of MLC bowlers including Ehsan Adil, Corey Anderson and Nosthush Kenjige in a tied encounter. A day later, buoyed by his maiden half century, he annihilated the Dallas Giants with a whirlwind 78* off 38 balls to wrap up the chase in grand style, thumping consecutive sixes down the ground.

"I've just changed a bit of my mental approach towards the game. So now I see it that I actually can make it there. My brother's been there. He's done it. He's brushed shoulders with all these guys. And I know know in my mind that I can make it there. I just need to keep working hard. Keep doing what I'm doing, even though it might not have paid off right now. I'm still young in my career," said Joshua after his breakthrough weekend in the Minor League.

"Matt being up so close with the big boys. He's just watched how they keep the game. So simple. Where they are so clear on what their game plan is, and what their scoring shots are and they're able to execute that. And that's what Matt was able to tell me that Quinton de Kock, whenever the bowler strays wide of the stumps, he knows he can score or if he bowls back of a length he's going to pick him up over the square and he knows that those are his scoring shots and they are clear on that. I think that I've been able to build a process around my game where I have simplified the way I bat," added Joshua.

What has been incredible about the knocks is the power with which the ball thudded towards the fence from Joshua's bat, power that has belied his age. The genesis of his power hitting abilities lie in the strict gym regime father Brett subjected the twins to in their adolescence, going on to hire a personal Strength and Conditioning coach even if it meant it burned a deep whole in his pocket. Brett was gratified when an Orcas coaching staff mentioned Matthew is the fittest 18-year-old he has ever seen.

"Twins is very unique in parenting, especially when they both have talents and one does well at one game or not. And then there's a season one does better. We never overplayed successes. And we really encourage discipline, hard work, practice training, we valued that far more than success" said Brett.

With the way Joshua announced himself with those blazing knocks backed by his disciplined work ethic, come MLC draft next year, there's little doubt he will join his brother Matthew at the marquee T20 competition of America.



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