Former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis revealed that he is considering a comeback to international cricket in time for next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be held in West Indies and USA. Du Plessis has not represented Proteas in an international match since appearing for South Africa in the second Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi in 2021 and his last white-ball clash for his country was a T20I contest against England in Cape Town at 2020-end.
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But the 39-year-old veteran has been performing well at the domestic level recently and was the second-highest run-scorer behind only Shubman Gill at this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when he contributed 730 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore from 14 innings, with eight half-centuries. Showcasing an amazing level of fitness, a wide array of shots and a strong passion to be on the cricket field, Du Plessis has shown he is not quite done yet.
Du Plessis is currently in Abu Dhabi participating in another domestic tournament and has indicated he is in discussions with new South Africa white-ball coach Rob Walter regarding a potential return to the international fold before the T20 World Cup.
“I believe that I can return to international cricket,” du Plessis said as quoted by ICC.
“We have been speaking about this for the last couple of years. It is just figuring out the balance of the T20 World Cup next year. It is certainly something we have spoken about with the new coach,” he said.
Du Plessis captained South Africa during two T20 World Cup campaigns in 2014 and 2016, but was not considered for the last two editions of the tournament despite the fact he has never officially retired from international white-ball cricket.
He has represented Proteas in 50 T20I games, scoring 1,528 runs at an average of 35.53, with one century and 10 fifties in 50 innings and a best score of 119. His runs have come at a strike rate of over 134.
Walter left the door open for the potential return of du Plessis and a host of other experienced players, while recently mentioning a group of players that were not considered for South Africa’s upcoming tour of India. Du Plessis’ name was mentioned among other players who could make it to the T20I cricket’s biggest event.
“Given that some of our frontline bowlers are missing out and there are guys – let me throw it out there just to create some media hype – like Faf (du Plessis) and Rilee (Rossouw) as well as Quinny (de Kock) that could well be considered for a T20 World Cup,” Walter had said.
“And then also the (South African domestic tournament) SA20 that happens next year – 80 per cent of the side picks itself but there is definitely a space for other guys to get themselves into the conversation.”
While du Plessis does not have a central playing contract with South Africa, he has 23 international centuries across all the formats, plenty of experience and a fit body. He believes he is still in good enough shape to wear the national colours again.
“I do a lot of hard work to ensure I look after my body to be able to play this brilliant game we love so much,” he added.
“When you do get a little bit older, you have to make sure you put in the work. Otherwise, the hamstring and other body parts do not work that well. There is a lot of fast running and a lot of stuff to make sure that level where you can play against the best players in the world,” he concluded.