Faf du Plessis has seen the Proteas crumple in more World Cups than is probably fair for one player to have to go through and yet the veteran former captain is still excited about the prospect of playing in two T20 World Cups in the next 20 months and even maybe the next 50-over tournament, scheduled for 2023.
It was revealed on Tuesday that Du Plessis will no longer be one of the 16 contracted Proteas for the coming year, but he told The Citizen on Wednesday that this was expected because he is only available for T20 cricket this year.
“I’m only available for T20 cricket this year as I mentioned in my Test retirement statement,” Du Plessis said in a WhatsApp message on Wednesday.
“I haven’t heard any communication from CSA regarding contracts, but I know they are looking into getting us involved in T20 cricket because there are two World Cups in that format in the next two years. Two T20 World Cups in a row is going to be fire (emoji).”
India will host the next T20 World Cup in October/November this year, while Australia, who were due to hold the event last year before the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, will stage the tournament at the same time in 2022.
“There isn’t much ODI cricket this season and the ODI World Cup is only in 2023. Next season might be different in terms of games and also then the 2023 World Cup preparation, but for now with it being so far away, it’s better to build with players that can gain plenty games under their belts,” the 36-year-old added.
Du Plessis averages 57.87 in his 23 50-over World Cup appearances at the 2011, 2015 and 2019 tournaments, while he also played in the 2013 and 2017 Champions Trophy events. He also played in three T20 World Cups, in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Du Plessis, who has been a stalwart of the Indian Premier League with 84 appearances, has previously indicated he is eager to play in more global T20 leagues around the world. Following the Proteas tour of Pakistan, he played three matches for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League before that tournament’s suspension due to a spate of Covid-19 cases.
Whatever holiday time he has had since then will be drawing rapidly to a close as the next edition of the IPL is due to start on April 9.