Williams, who hails from Vredenburg on the Cape West Coast, is one of two players to receive their maiden call-ups and have a chance to make their international debut when the Proteas and Pakistan contest three ODIs and four T20Is from 2-16 April. He is also only the second cricketer from UWC to reach that level after Zubayr Hamza.
“It’s a big honour and privilege to be recognised among the best players in your country,” the Titans right-arm fast bowler said.
“All the hard work that I have put into the last couple of years is paying off, especially the move from Cape Town up north to the Titans where my cricket really just took off. I know there is still a lot of work ahead of me now. The hard work starts now: to grab that opportunity and hopefully have a long successful international career”.
Williams revealed how he felt receiving the call-up while in his hotel room during the Momentum Multiply Titans 4-Day Domestic Series derby against Imperial Lions.
“I had a bit of mixed emotions. It was news that I would want to share with my mom first but my mom passed away about 16 months ago. So it was very emotional in a sense that she is not with me anymore to share the news with her because all the glory and satisfaction that I feel is everything I owe to her. She is the one who raised me”.
Lizzo, as he is affectionately called in cricket circles, said his selection also means it was now time to reassess his goals.
“Obviously everyone's goal is to represent his country and if you achieve that it’s time to try to stay on top and compete against the best in the world”.
Williams (27) graduated from UWC in 2019 with a BA degree in arts. Prior to joining the Titans in Pretoria, he played for the Cape Cobras, Boland, the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and the Jozi Stars. He was part of Sports Skills for Life Skills (SS4LS), a non-profit organisation (NGO) based on campus. SS4LS helps students in previously disadvantaged areas to enhance their talent in sport but also provide them with opportunity to obtain a tertiary education.
“The SS4LS initiative has a rich history of producing quality cricketers all over South Africa. It is beneficial and I think all the sports skills and the disciplines that I have learned while in the club definitely made me a better player and a better person. Now I can make better decisions in my life”.
UWC Cricket Club is over the moon with his selection.
“We are delighted to see Lizaad getting the recognition he so richly deserves,” commented Advocate Nicolas Kock, Executive Director of the SS4LS programme.
“As a UWC graduate, he will be one of a handful in that elite group of cricketers who successfully completed a tertiary qualification. UWC is truly a place to grow”.
Craig Williams, President of the SS4LS Alumni Network, congratulated Lizzo for his selection.
“I think Lizaad’s selection, first and foremost, bears testimony to his character as a person and the resilience he has displayed to patiently ply his trade at first-class level over the years, not rushing things. His work ethic to refine his natural talent as a cricketer and trust in a process has rightfully manifested itself in a national call up.
“We as an Alumni Network (and I am sure I speak on behalf of the main programme), cannot be more proud to have yet another SS4LS graduate achieve the pinnacle of sporting excellence, following Zubayr Hamza’s test call-up recently too. This just serves to highlight the quality of the cricket club, the brilliance of the design of the programme underpinning its success and the unwavering support from the University, which sees SS4LS constantly churning out these high calibre sportsmen and women. We collectively celebrate his success and look forward to a successful debut.”