Cricket South Africa (CSA) has stated that Faff de Plessis he is welcome to return to the national team. While the former captain was not included in the ODI and T20I squads launched on Monday (March 6) to face the West Indies, talks between du Plessis and white ball coach Rob Walter have persisted.
The talented right-handed batsman retired from Test Cricket in February 2021, but has become available for white-ball formats. Despite his success in franchise leagues around the world, the 38-year-old has been overlooked by South Africa in limited-overs cricket.
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Due to the changing nature of international cricket, CSA Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe stated that they are always open to including independent cricketers in the squads. They may have more players because the board plans to issue core contracts specific to certain formats.
As quoted by ESPN Cricinfo, Nkwe said: “We have always been open to discussions with our independent players and Rob is very interested in resuming those discussions. Many players are still committed to all three formats, but we have some cue-ball only players and red-ball only players. What we envision in the near future, maybe even the next 12 months, is that we might even go more specifically to T20, ODI and Test contracts. Those are some of the things we’re really looking at.”
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He added that Faf du Plessis was part of the equation, but they could not reach an understanding, “There were conversations before the World Cup with the selection panel and the coach and they ended without a solution. From a CSA standpoint, we are happy to get involved and see how we can find the best way forward.”
“Faf du Plessis hasn’t retired yet”: Rob Walter on Faf du Plessis
Rob Walter, the Proteas white ball coach, hailed Faf du Plessis’ achievements in T20 cricket more than two months ago, saying South Africa needs players of his caliber.
He said, as quoted by SA Cric Mag: “Faf has not retired yet. He is still playing very good T20 cricket. He will build his future around the T20 leagues. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but if he wanted to talk about playing for South Africa again, I’d be open to that. He is a quality player, and the more quality players you have who want to play for South Africa, the better.”
Faf du Plessis has scored 2747 runs in PSL, CPL, IPL, BPL, BBL and SA20 since his last Test, averaging 33.91 in 90 innings and recording four hundred in the process. His 369 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 41.60 were the second highest in the first SA20 tournament.
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