South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has made it clear that he would welcome his former teammate AB de Villiers with open arms in the national team. Du Plessis’ comments come just days after de Villiers once again expressed his desire of playing for the Proteas in this year’s T20I World Cup. Having retired from international cricket in 2018, De Villiers had reportedly told the South Africa team-management that he wanted to play in last year’s World Cup too.
However, the Proteas team-management turned down his request and endured a terrible time in the competition. But unlike the last time, de Villiers has been very vocal this time around about his desire to play for South Africa again. After making his debut for Brisbane Heat in the ongoing Big Bash League, the star batsman said that he would love to play in the T20 World Cup.
He had also said that he is in constant touch with South Africa head coach Mark Boucher, CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith and captain Faf du Plessis about his possible return to the national team. And when du Plessis was addressing the media on Wednesday ahead of the third Test against England, he was asked about his former Proteas teammate.
“We spoke about it, and I was very keen to have him back. That was even before the new coaching staff was on board,” du Plessis said in reply as quoted by IndiaToday.
“Then it was the process of what does the next year look like in terms of T20 cricket-how many games; where, when, what? And then trying to unfold that in a way that we can get him back. He’s keen to come to do that I don’t know when. I can’t give you that answer yet because that decision hasn’t been taken. But there would be a series we would like to get him back to play.”
“In an ideal world we would like to try and make sure that we can play our best 11, 12, 13 players for a few games or series together leading up to the T20 World Cup,” he added.
Faf du Plessis opens up on South Africa’s World Cup performance
Speaking about the disastrous performance in last year’s World Cup, Faf du Plessis said that the team did not have its best combination. While he did not put the blame on anyone, du Plessis rued that the players in the squad did not play enough games leading to the marquee event.
“A learning curve for me with the 50-over World Cup last year was that we never had the combinations we were looking for. As a new coach, Ottis Gibson didn’t know a lot of the players. There was a search for a lot of players and finding combinations. If I could do that over again, I would try and settle into the combinations a little earlier so the guys can play as many games as possible together,” said du Plessis.
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