SA20 cricket league is empowering domestic cricket

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Published: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 4:53 PM

Faf du Plessis, a super-calm and composed, consistent South African batsman with amazing fielding skills, believes the SA20 will take cricket to a new level. With vast experience playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL for nine seasons, Du Plessis is leading the Joburg Super Kings squad and hit the first SA20 century on Jan 25. In a talk, the ace cricketer shared his point of view on how the SA20 will make cricket more exciting in this continent.

By Deepak Jain

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Du Plessis, with over a decade-long international cricket career across all formats, is very positive about SA20. “It’s awesome that it’s finally here,” said Du Plessis, adding that SA cricketers have been waiting for this product for a while.

Applauding the progress made in the T20 format in SA in recent years he said, “It’s really exciting to take it to a new level now and for the world to see a little bit more of South Africa.”

On the arrival of talents from overseas, he said that it is the best thing about SA20 as international cricketing talents will be on show. Elaborating further on the importance of franchise competition in SA, Du Plessis said in an interview that the franchise model is non-negotiable in modern cricket, and bringing cricketing stars from across the world will give young talents the opportunity to learn from the best players.

“Playing with international cricket stars will fast-track their learning and it will make the domestic system stronger,” he said.

On the Super Kings brand, he said, “I think I’ve done 11 years with the CSK in the IPL so I’ve got a great relationship with them.”

Speaking about the role of SA20 in building a stronger national team, Du Plessis said that the country needs a bigger pool of cricketers available for the national team and this needs healthy competition not just at the domestic but international level. While discussing the winning formula in a franchise format, he laughs and says, “Well, I’m not going to give them all away.”

He believes the tactical element of T20 is very crucial, and winning depends on how well or poorly the tactical side of the game is executed. On other aspects of winning, he said, “Putting a team together is crucial, too,” adding that structuring the team according to match conditions and the opposition team is a must to win each game.

On his preparedness and tight cricketing schedule, he said "I’m not playing international cricket anymore, so I’m finding other avenues of playing cricket."

“I’m currently playing five franchise T20 tournaments all over the world,” he said, adding that it is his way of staying busy and competitive.

Du Plessis, who is the oldest of the six captains, said that he is still enjoying the game, just like national team days. “That’s why I’m still playing,” he said, adding, “I think I can keep it going as long as I want to.”

On JSK team composition and talents, he said that West Indian pace Alzarri Joseph has got some real raw pace and it would be very exciting to see him do well on South African pitches.

Losing Harry Brook was disappointing, he said, adding that JSK has got enough talent to cover that. When asked about picking one player from other teams, he said that it would be leg spinner Rashid Khan.

— Deepak Jain is an independent content writer.

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