Tell young Quinton de Kock that business and pleasure don't mix well and he will vehemently disagree. The 20-year-old South Africa batsman is love struck, and the long-drawn Indian domestic Twenty20 league has done little to lift his spirits.
It was in October 2012, at the Wanderers in his city of birth — Johannesburg — that de Kock made his first impression at senior cricket. And it was in the same game that he ensured that one of his team's cheerleaders, Sasha Hurly, would have eyes only for him.
De Kock struck a quickfire 51 not out to help Highveld Lions crush Mumbai Indians in a Champions League encounter.
De Kock's big hits played a special tune for Hurly, so much so that she is his girlfriend today.
“After the game, she came up and congratulated me,” a blushing de Kock told the Hindustan Times. “Later, I thanked her back over Facebook. As we started talking, it just clicked. I didn't think it could start on the field.”
Does she understand the game at all? “She has danced at the Indian T20 League in South Africa and at a few international games. But before we met, she didn't understand cricket at all, she would just dance. Now she is hooked on, even her family watches it.” de Kock says.
As the Sunrisers Hyderabad player ambles along the hotel's poolside, he complains, “It (the league) is getting too long now!” No, the high-profile league has not scared him; he is just restless and can't wait to get back with his girlfriend.
“She was in India for a few days, but had to rush back for exams,” he explains. “Even when I didn't score runs, she kept me going. Wish she could have stayed longer, but can't wait to meet her!”