Faf du Plessis Opens Up On 2021 T20I World Cup Snub: Cricket South Africa Wanted Cricketers To Be Always Available

Faf du Plessis Opens Up On 2021 T20I World Cup Snub: Cricket South Africa Wanted Cricketers To Be Always Available

Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Despite brilliant form in the shortest format before the tournament, Faf du Plessis could not make it into South Africa’s squad. 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.

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Faf du Plessis: Cricket South Africa Wanted Cricketers To Be Always Available

Faf 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. However, 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 said.

Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
“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.
Faf Du Plessis accumulated 277 runs in the Caribbean, followed by smashing 633 for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a title-winning campaign. However, it wasn’t good enough to get him a spot for the World T20. Faf Du Plessis retired from Test cricket in February this year; however, he intends to represent the Proteas in limited-overs cricket.
Although he is 37, the right-handed batsman could be key to their hopes in the 2022 T20 World Cup and the 50-over tournament in 2023. But he hasn’t played international cricket since February 2021.

Faf du Plessis Asserts That He Is Still In A Good Condition To Play And Mark Boucher Certainly Feels The Door Isn’t Closed For Anyone

Although the opener is as fit as ever, Faf du Plessis said that his age does not bother him, and he is still “very motivated” to play the game.

“I still feel physical 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.”

Mark Boucher. Twitter/@SuperSportTV
Mark Boucher.— Twitter/@SuperSportTV

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.

Mark Boucher, the South Africa head coach, said missing out on the semi-finals of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 due to an inferior net run rate was a bitter pill to swallow.

South Africa went into the 2021 T20I World Cup without experienced T20I specialists batsman Faf Du Plessis and all-rounder Chris Morris besides spinner Imran Tahir. The Proteas bowed out of the 2021 T20I World Cup and ended the tournament having won 4 out of their 5 matches but failed to progress for inferior Net Run Rate.

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