‘CSA has unrealistic expectations, they want players to be available all the time’ – Faf du Plessis on T20 World Cup 2021 snub
Du Plessis could not make it into South Africa's squad despite brilliant form in the shortest format before the tournament.
Updated - Dec 1, 2021 10:48 pm
Faf du Plessis has opened up on his exclusion from South Africa’s T20 World Cup squad. The 37-year-old, despite being in sensational form in the build-up to the tournament, which included his 633-run IPL 2021 with season champions Chennai Super Kings, found himself out of contention for the national team for the multi-team event in the United Arab Emirates.
Du Plessis, who is currently representing the Bangla Tigers at the Abu Dhabi T10 League, admitted that he desired to play for the Proteas at the short-format World Cup, which prompted him to announce his retirement from Test cricket. He reckoned that CSA had “unrealistic expectations” from the players.
“I am on a different journey now. Last year, when I played for South Africa against England in the series there, the plan was still very much to play in the World Cup. And the talks were that leading up to that. But at that time, it was just really difficult for Cricket South Africa and myself to find something that allows me to still play overseas,” du Plessis told ESPNcricinfo.
“That was the reason why I retired from Test cricket. They tried to, but we couldn’t find a middle ground and I think they wanted people that are available all the time. That made it a challenge for the guys like myself and Imran Tahir, because we were playing overseas [franchise leagues] as well. I think that’s the challenge now, because we are playing overseas, if they don’t want us to play all the games, it’s probably an unrealistic expectation,” he added.
For me, age doesn’t matter: Faf du Plessis
As fit as ever, du Plessis said that his age does not bother him, and he is still “very motivated” to play the game.
“I still feel physically like I’m in a really good condition to play for however long I want to play for, so I’m fortunate that physically I can do that,” he said. “For me, age doesn’t really matter, like it would for someone else maybe. It’s the mental freshness and the motivation that becomes the two challenges for me. And I’m still very motivated.”
Meanwhile, with the next T20 World Cup coming in less than a year’s time, head coach Mark Boucher has stated that every player is very much in contention to find a spot in the team.
“I certainly don’t think the door is closed for anyone. The Faf conversation was had, and unfortunately, it just didn’t work out with the scheduling and all that stuff. It’s been tough during Covid times and bubble life, I understand from his perspective with family, has been very tough,” he was quoted by iol.co.za.