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A multi-faceted Namibian doctor

Pietermaritzburg: If there was an award for the most multi-faceted personality in the World Cup, that would surely have gone to Namibia’s Dr Rudie van Vuuren. The 30-year-old general practitioner, after all, is also a rugby star and featured in his country’s 1999 World Cup campaign in Wales.

He has, therefore, set a record.

Given Dr Rudi’s credentials, it appears only incidental that he is one of Namibia’s opening bowlers. “It’s okay now but, gradually, it will be difficult dividing time between cricket and rugby,” he told The Telegraph Saturday afternoon, without indicating his preference if he had to choose one.

In fact, once this World Cup ends, Dr Rudi will begin training for the rugby World Cup later this year, in Australia. “I hope to make it there too,” he pointed out, laughing.

Actually, this balancing act between a purely physical sport and a game which is much gentler is quite remarkable. Laughing again, Dr Rudi said: “At times, I tend to get too aggressive on the cricket field, which is when I’ve got to remind myself that I’m not playing rugby...”

Based in the Namibian capital Windhoek, Dr Rudi intends to specialise and, for that, will return to Stellenbosch University (near Cape Town). “I haven’t put a date to that, but will surely become a specialist.”

While Dr Rudi idolises Wasim Akram among cricketers, his favourite rugby player is New Zealand’s Michael Jones. Incidentally, his own rugby-position is that of fly-half.

Asked just how he will be approaching Sunday’s game, versus India, Dr Rudi coolly answered: “By staying calm...”

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