Teams Played For
Cape Cobras, Pretoria University, Western Province, Western Province Under-19s
A left-arm orthodox spinner who is also a capable lower-order batsman, George Linde started off his cricketing career as a seam bowler during his school days. Following his selection into the Western Province U 13 team, Linde shifted to left-arm spin to find better opportunities as there were already enough seam bowling options in the team. Ever since turning to spin, he never looked back and went from strength to strength.
Despite his affinity towards batting, it was his coach who persisted in him to concentrate more on the spin as his game developed. Just after finishing school, Linde went to the UK for a stint with English club cricket before returning to South Africa. He then played in the Western Province Amateur team before being snapped up by the Cape Cobras franchise team.
Linde made his first-class debut for Gauteng way back in 2012. He emerged as a promising young all-rounder in the domestic circuit in quick time and kept on improving his skills in white-ball cricket. He bagged 15 wickets in the 2017-18 domestic one-day cup and was awarded a place in the Cape Town Blitz squad for the Mzansi Super League 2018-19.
His consistent performances finally paved the way for his selection in the South Africa A squad. He was part of the South Africa A side which toured India in August-September just before the senior team came along for a Test series. He finished as the joint 2nd highest wicket-taker in the unofficial ODI series and finally bagged his maiden national call-up when he was brought in as a replacement for JJ Smuts who failed to live up to the fitness standards.
Linde made his Test debut against India in Ranchi and bagged 4 wickets in the match as a replacement for Keshav Maharaj who was ruled out of the final Test owing to an injury. The Ranchi Test was the only game that the spinner played on the tour, but since the India tour Linde’s life skyrocketed.
In 2020, when cricket returned to South Africa the spinner made his T20I debut against England. He started his T20I career with a clean spell of 2 for 20 where he took Jason Roy’s wicket on a duck and also scalped the then World No. 1 Dawid Malan. The following year, he toured Pakistan to play a couple more Tests in the historic series. The South African registered his maiden five-wicket haul in the Rawalpindi Test. Later that season, Linde became Proteas’ prime spinner when they hosted Pakistan at home and hasn’t dropped a beat since then.
In May 2021, the national selectors backed him for the full-fledged tour of the West Indies. The team management and captain would be expecting Linde to grab as much experience as he can, before they head for the World T20, later in 2021. A spinner like Linde would be a solitaire for South Africa in the sub-continent conditions.
(As of June 2021)