Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

OPINION: Time for Proteas to take stock

Several players who featured at the recent T20 World Cup are well into their 30s already.

Talk by Aiden Markram and others in the Proteas set-up that the future looks bright for the T20 team, and possibly also the ODI team, is just that – talk.

Performing well in the USA and Caribbean recently is no guarantee of success in the future, even though we’d like to think the Proteas will kick on and win a major trophy sometime soon.

The reality is all the top tier teams playing T20 cricket will always look to build and strengthen, as the Proteas will do, but so will the so-called smaller teams and that means in future there will simply be a lot more competition and teams vying for the trophies available at World Cup tournaments.

But yes, if the Proteas can hang on to a number of their best performers for another few years there’s every chance they will challenge for a trophy somewhere – as they always seem to do.

Older generation

The only problem facing them, and coach Rob Walter – and I’m sure he’ll be around for a while yet – is the fact there are quite a few “older players” in the limited overs set-up and it’s doubtful they’ll be around for the 50 overs World Cup in South Africa in 2027. They might though make it to the next T20 World Cup in two years’ time in India and Sri Lanka, but that is no guarantee either.

Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj, Reeza Hendricks and David Miller are 34 years old, while Heinrich Klaasen is 32 and Quinton de Kock 31. Ottneil Baartman is also 31, while Anrich Nortje is 30.

But with the Proteas playing so little Test cricket currently and the fact these players mentioned here are certainly not over-played, perhaps they will be around for a while yet.

But the core over the next few years will be made up of the likes of Aiden Markram (29), Ryan Rickelton (27), Tristan Stubbs (23), Marco Jansen (23), Gerald Coetzee (23) and still Kagiso Rabada (28).

So yes, add in a few more youngsters, who’ve shown their worth in tournaments like the SA20, and the future of the limited overs Proteas team looks as bright as ever. But they’re still going to have to go out there and get the job done.

Read more on these topics

ICC Men's T20 World Cup Proteas cricket team

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.