Rob Walter, South Africa’s newly hired limited-overs coach, has made room for Faf du Plessis to rejoin the team. Walter acknowledged that South Africa needs players of Du Plessis’ calibre to rebound from recent setbacks.
Since the conclusion of the second Test match against Pakistan in Rawalpindi in February 2021, the former Proteas captain has not worn the national colours. He has, however, displayed good form in franchise cricket, starring in the Australian Big Bash League, the SA20, and the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Faf du Plessis Lauded By Rob Walter
The veteran hitter may have given up playing Test cricket, but Walter told the Rapport newspaper that he is still a fantastic performer in the shorter format. He said he’s willing to talk to Faf du Plessis about joining the team saying:
“Faf has not retired yet. He is still playing very good T20 cricket. He will build his future around T20 leagues. I haven’t spoken to him at all yet, but if he would like to talk about the possibility of playing for South Africa again, I would be open to that.
“He is a quality player, and the more quality players you have who want to play for South Africa, the better. If he’s one of those players, that’s great. Does this mean he will play for South Africa again? I do not know.”
Faf du Plessis Not Included in South Africa Squad For England Series
South Africa’s roster for their forthcoming home ODI series against England did not include Faf Du Plessis. Temba Bavuma’s future as the Proteas’ captain is uncertain in the wake of their disastrous performance in the 2022 T20 World Cup.
The selection criteria for non-contracted players were stated by Chief Selector Victor Mpitsang in the previous year. He said that in order to be eligible to play for the Proteas, a player must either play for or be available for a South African professional team.
Mpitsang was reported by SA Cric Mag as saying:
“We have a very clear policy that outlines the availability of non-contracted players. A player who is not nationally contracted ‘must play for a South African professional team, or be available to play for such a team immediately’ before [playing] for the Proteas.”
In February 2021, Faf du Plessis declared his Test retirement, blaming it on his tense relationship with Mark Boucher, the team’s head coach at the time. With 1528 runs in 50 matches at an average of 35.53 and a strike rate of 134.38, he continues to rank sixth among South Africa’s T20I run scorers.