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Du Plessis Eyes T20 World Cup Return

December 06, 2023 13:34 IST
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IMAGE: Faf du Plessis scored 730 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 14 innings at IPL 2023. Photograph: BCCI

Former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis is considering a comeback to international cricket in time for next year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

Du Plessis hasn't played an international match since he appeared 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 the end of 2020.

But the 39 year old, who no longer holds a central playing contract with South Africa, has been performing well at the domestic level in recent times and was second behind only Shubman Gill for the most runs at this year's Indian Premier League when he contributed 730 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore from 14 innings.

Du Plessis has been in discussions with South Africa white-ball Coach Rob Walter surrounding a potential return to the international fold prior to the start of the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies next June.

He captained South Africa during two T20 World Cup campaigns in 2014 and 2016, but wasn't considered for the last two editions of the tournament despite the fact he has never officially retired from international white-ball cricket.

'I believe that I can return to international cricket,; du Plessis was quoted as saying by the ICC.

'We have been speaking about this for the last couple of years. It's just figuring out the balance of the T20 World Cup next year. It's certainly something we have spoken about with the new coach,' said Du Plessis who is currently playing a tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Du Plessis has 23 international centuries to his name across three formats and believes he is still in good enough shape to return to playing cricket for his country.

'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.'

Coach Walter left the door open for the potential return of du Plessis and other experienced players.

'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 (Quinton de Kock),' Walter said, 'that could well be considered for a T20 World Cup.'

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