Cape Town (S. Africa), Dec.12 (ANI): When Jonathan Trott walks out to bat for England at the SuperSport Park Centurion here against South Africa next week, nobody will have more extreme emotions than his coach, Anton 'Yogi' Ferreira, who helped him up the first rungs of the international ladder.
Ferreira, a huge bear of a man and one of cricket's real characters, was coach of the South African Under-19 team in which Trott played for two years alongside current captain Graeme Smith.
Ferreira admits he will be sad that Trott is playing for England and not South Africa, as the memories of their time together a decade ago come flooding back.
Trott, he says was a brilliant batter, almost certain to make the international grade for his country till the South African cricket board and the government decided to change selection policy and give equal opportunities to coloured players.
Sun Sport has unearthed a photo from 1999 that shows Trott, Smith and Jacques Rudolph as teammates.
Kevin Pietersen might walk a gauntlet of hate every time he plays here, but Trott's defection caused more anxiety in South Africa because he was regarded as a better player than KP.
Trott, whose father is English, made his debut for Warwickshire in 2003, married an English girl and now claims to prefer living in Birmingham to Cape Town!
Ferreira, the former Warwickshire all-rounder, remembers Trott as a confident young player and yet strangely insecure.
The Sun quoted Ferreira, as saying: "Jonathan was a very talented lad, special really, with a real swagger about him. He was confident, had a presence at the wicket and possessed an array of shots.
"He was arrogant, but not in a bad way, and backed his ability. I remember he made a remarkable double hundred against a provincial team in Hyderabad in Pakistan.
"He was also aggressive, got stuck in and always believed he would do well - even when he was bowling. I watched him bowling for England in the one-dayer at Centurion the other week and knew he would be expecting to take wickets. It made me smile.
"But he also had some of the insecurities of youth. He was a bit hot headed at times and felt like he needed to stamp his authority. There were also times when he needed reassuring. He was quite sensitive and we built up a good relationship," says Ferreira.
"I remember one evening while we were on tour in Karachi that he knocked on my hotel door and we sat up talking about cricket and his game until the early hours of the morning. He needed boosting at the time, which I felt was strange for someone with so much talent," he added.
"Trotty had a British passport as well as a South African passport because of his family connections. It was sad that he went down the route of moving to England - anybody in any sport would be sad to lose a player of his quality. I would have liked him to play for South Africa and he was always identified as a very talented player coming through our system," Ferreira said. (ANI)