Colin Ingram, a blond, bestubbled, bruising left-hander, is among the crispest hitters produced by South Africa’s Eastern Cape. His nickname of Bozie came from “bulldozer” because his grandmother observed that he was in the habit of bulldozing around. He has done that to good purpose both for South Africa and, latterly, Glamorgan, where he has gained a reputation as a destructive one-day hitter, the most potent figure by far in their T20 side.
His 31 ODIs for South Africa came with three centuries (one on debut against Zimbabwe, two against Pakistan) and he played 9 T20s but he lacked consistency at an average of not much above 30 meant that by the end of 2013 he had fallen out of favour. He also bowled six balls in his ODI career and conceded 17 in one over against Pakistan. “Misbah-ul-Haq was on strike and I tossed one of my leggies up and he clubbed it for six,” he said later. “I turned round and said, ‘Let’s see if you can do it again’ – and he did.”
He signed a Kolpak deal with Glamorgan for the 2015 season, combining that with captaincy of the Eastern Cape-based Warriors. Justification was not hard to find: here was a player with 31 ODIs and nine T20Is spaced out between 2010 and 2013, who batted in every position across the top seven. “I definitely feel I held my own at international level and put in performances,” he said. “Unfortunately I ran into a few really good bowlers when I ended up opening, which wasn’t my preferred position. It was an unsettling period because I did move around, I was in and out of the side and I didn’t feel backed.”
The move to Glamorgan was cathartic. His menace was obvious in all competitions in 2015, but his 2016 season was inhibited by a knee injury, suffered at the start of the season, which restricted him to white-ball cricket. He had surgery in South Africa at the end of the season, insisting that his appetite for red-ball cricket remained, only to become a limited-overs specialist a year later.
His limited-overs cricket, though, was formidable. He scored 502 runs in the 2016 T20 Blast season, hitting 29 sixes to share the record with Chris Gayle, and also topped Glamorgan’s One-Day Cup averages with 367 runs at 61.1. His legspin was another useful weapon: he took a career-best 3 for 20 against Somerset to get Glamorgan into the last eight of the NatWest Blast, but an improvement on that figure as he took 4 for 32 in the quarter-final against Yorkshire in Cardiff could not prevent Glamorgan’s elimination.
He stood out, too, in 2017. With three hundreds and two fifties, he made the most runs in this year’s Royal London Cup – 564 – and followed up with two T20 hundreds as Glamorgan reached NatWest Blast Finals Day. His IPL experience had amounted to only three games for Delhi Daredevils in 2011, but as he became a limited-overs specialist, at 32, his form was eye-catching enough to deserve interest among T20 leagues worldwide.
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