Keshav Maharaj is a South African cricketer of Indian origin who has played many matches for the team. He is also popular for following Hindu practices.
Keshav Athmanand Maharaj was born on Wednesday, 7 February 1990 (age 33 years; as of 2023) in Durban, Natal Province, South Africa. His zodiac sign is Aquarius. Keshav started playing cricket at the age of two in the backyard of his home. His father started coaching him later and often took him to the nets. He was later selected for the Bakers Mini-Cricket programme, a developmental scheme for primary school kids, where he played as a left-arm seamer and batsman. One day, his father saw him turning the ball while training on a synthetic pitch and asked him to start spin bowling. He completed his schooling at Northwood Boys High School, Durban. He later pursued a Bachelor of Administration.
Since his father used to play first-class cricket, he honed his spin-bowling skills while bowling to several Indian and Pakistani batsmen in the nets at the age of twelve. He later became a professional cricketer.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Dark Brown
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): Chest 40″, Waist 30″, Biceps 12″
He belongs to an Indian-origin family.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Athmanand Maharaj, is a former cricketer who played as a wicketkeeper-batsman. His mother’s name is Kanchan Mala who is a teacher. He has two sisters named Nashika and Tarisma.
Wife & Children
He got married to Lerisha Munsamy, a South African dancer and beautician, on 16 April 2022. They earlier got engaged on 17 January 2019. The couple does not have any children.
Keshav Maharaj was introduced to Lerisha Munsamy by a common friend in 2018, and they later started dating each other. After dating for around 5 and a half months, on 28 July 2018, Keshav proposed to her which she accepted and became his girlfriend. Lerisha and Keshav kept their relationship very private and did not tell their families about it; however, on the occasion of the 50th birthday of Keshav’s mother, he planned a Kathak dance performance with her after which his family agreed to their relationship.
He follows Hinduism and is a devotee of Lord Hanuman. He often visits Hindu temples during his free time and often wishes his fans on social media on the occasion of Hindu festivals like Rama Navami.
Keshav Maharaj played for KwaZulu-Natal Under-15 and Under-19 before making his way to the senior team. He made his first-class debut on 2 November 2006 for KwaZulu-Natal against Kei; he took 1 wicket for 16 runs in the first innings and 4 wickets for 84 runs in the second innings. He debuted in List A (one-day) on 5 November 2006 for KwaZulu-Natal against Kei and took 3 wickets for 22 runs. He made his T20 debut on 7 February 2010 for the Dolphins against the Warriors and took 1 wicket for 29 runs. He also played for the South Africa Academy and South Africans in the domestic circuit.
South Africa A
While he could not make it to the South African Under-19 team, he was later selected for the South Africa A team and toured Bangladesh in 2010.
Keshav Maharaj made his test debut on 3 November 2016 against Australia at WACA Ground in Perth, Australia; he scored 16 runs and took 3 wickets for 56 runs in the first innings and scored 41 runs and took 1 wicket for 94 runs in the second innings. In March 2017, he took his first 5-wicket haul by taking 5 wickets in the first innings against New Zealand.
In July 2018, during the match against Sri Lanka in 2018, he took 9 wickets for 129 runs in the first innings and 3 wickets for 153 runs in the second innings, achieving his first 10-wicket haul in a test match. In October 2019, he made his first test fifty by scoring 72 runs in the first innings against India.
He played his debut ODI match on 27 May 2017 against England at The Rose Bowl(also known as The Agead Bowl) in Southampton, England and took 1 wicket for 72 runs. On 17 September 2023, he took his first 4-wicket haul by taking 4 wickets for 33 runs against Australia.
ODI World Cup
His first ODI World Cup was the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup held in India. During the World Cup, a picture of his bat went viral which had an Om (ॐ) symbol on it. Many fans praised him for adhering to Hindu traditions while living in South Africa. He gained the significant attention of cricket fans when he hit the winning boundary after the match against Pakistan which South Africa won by 1 wicket.
He debuted in T20Is on 10 September 2021 against Sri Lanka at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka and took 1 wicket for 19 runs.
T20I World Cups
During the 2021 T20I World Cup held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he played 5 matches and took 8 wickets for 155 runs with the best bowling figures of 3 wickets for 20 runs against Bangladesh. He played 4 matches in the 2022 T20I World Cup held in Australia and took 3 wickets for 89 runs with the best bowling figures of 2 wickets for 27 runs against the Netherlands.
He became the ODI captain in September 2021 for the series against Sri Lanka and later captained the T20I team of South Africa during the T20 series against Sri Lanka. He also served as vice-captain of the team during the 2023 ODI World Cup.
In the 2013 Sussex Premier League, he played for Cuckfield, and in the 2015 Lancashire League, he represented Nelson. He played for Lancashire in the 2018 County Championship and Yorkshire in 2019.
Mzansi Super League (MSL)
Keshav Maharaj played for Durban Heat in the 2018 and 2019 MSL seasons.
He played for the Durban Super Giants in the 2022 and 2023 editions of the SA20 League and was appointed as the captain of the team for the 2024 season.
- He is the first spin bowler to make his international debut at WACA Ground, Perth, Australia.
- International Newcomer of the Year at Cricket South Africa’s annual awards in 2017
He owns a Volkswagen Polo.
- His batting style is right-handed, and his bowling style is slow left-arm orthodox.
- Keshav’s father revealed in an interview that his great-great-grandfather came to Durban from Sultanpore, Uttar Pradesh, India on 1 September 1874. Keshav’s father also came to India to study and play cricket; however, he did not like the stay and returned to South Africa.
- He likes cooking food and has a cooking vlog. He also used to participate in local radio cooking shows.
- Former Indian cricketer Kiran More once saw Keshav’s hand when he was three years old and predicted that he would become an international cricketer. When Keshav made his international debut, his father sent an SMS to More to which More replied that he spoke those words after seeing Keshav’s bat holding grip and running between the pitch.
- During his teenage, Keshav was not selected due to being overweight. Between the ages of 22 and 25, he worked hard on his fitness and was later selected.
- He gave his name for the 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL); however, he went unsold during the auction against his base price of Rs 50 lakhs.
- His cricketing role model is Rahul Dravid.
- He likes playing golf during his free time.
- He often takes part in social programs for the needy and underprivileged.