At the 2012 World Cup, Chad Bowes led the South Africa Under-19 side, which contained Quinton de Kock and Theunis de Bruyn, to a third-place finish by defeating New Zealand by eight wickets. More than a decade later, on Saturday at Eden Park, Bowes will make his international debut for New Zealand in the first ODI against Sri Lanka.
Together with Devon Conway, Bowes was one of the most gifted schoolboy cricketers in South Africa in the past. As destiny would have it, they were placed against each other frequently in age-group cricket in South Africa, and their careers intersected again in New Zealand.
My Dream is to play for my Country
Similar to Conway, Bowes was unable to make a significant impression during his few opportunities in top-tier domestic cricket, and his hopes of playing international cricket for South Africa were dashed.
When Bowes opted to pursue a cricketing career in New Zealand, he left his family and comfort zone in South Africa. Three years after guiding South Africa to victory in the 2012 Under-19 World Cup, he came alone in Christchurch and, with the assistance of Stephen Fleming, joined the Sydenham cricket club and started a new life and career in New Zealand.
Conway has joined Fleming at Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2023 in India, therefore Bowes will open the batting for New Zealand in Conway’s absence. Who would have thought?
“It has been a heck of a journey from South Africa to New Zealand,” Bowes tells ESPNcricinfo. “That’s probably not the plan I had for my career,” he adds. “Numerous moments of adversity and difficulty, as well as numerous ones of success. Undoubtedly, the decision to shift nations and start a new life from scratch has been the cornerstone of my work for the past six or seven years. So, a great deal of knowledge has been gained, not just on the field but also in life in general.
“I’ve traveled here with my wife Chloe, and we’ve recently given birth to a baby girl with a New Zealand passport. Yet, we are still awaiting one for ourselves (laughs). But it has been an extraordinary adventure – one that was clearly unexpected, but tremendously instructive in terms of what I’ve learned about myself, the world, and what it takes to flourish and not simply survive in various circumstances.
Hence, it has been a steep learning curve that will continue. The desire to play international cricket has been in my blood for twenty years, and it continues to reside there. The only difference is the modification in the badge.”
Being away from family in a new nation presented many obstacles, but New Zealand’s general beauty and cricketing landscape encouraged Bowes to continue chasing his goal of being a Black Cap. Bowes has endured many concussions after receiving knocks to the head on the field and mental-health issues off the field, but he refuses to quit.