"How much time can he give to South Africa" - Graeme Smith on possibility of Du Plessis coming in SA squad for T20 WC
Faf du Plessis is one of the best batsmen that South Africa has produced. There is no question about his ability and, till date, he is among the most consistent batters in the IPL era and also led his new franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore, to third place in the TATA IPL 2022.
However, while Du Plessis announced his retirement from Test cricket in September 2021, but he has yet to officially retire from the shorter format of the game. So, is there a chance that the Proteas will consider him for the upcoming T20I World Cup in Australia too, looking at his current good form?
Former South African skipper Greame Smith believes that South Africa have a difficult task on their hand, whether they will select the 37-year-old for the World Cup squad or not. Notably, Du Plessis is not a centrally contracted player at the moment and played his last T20I in 2020.
Ahead of the last T20I World Cup in the UAE, it was decided that free agents (not centrally contracted) would not take part in the World Cup squad, and Greame Smith was the Director of Cricket for Cricket South Africa (CSA) at that time. And a similar kind of verdict is awaited for the selectors ahead of the mega-event in Australia.
Speaking to Star Sporta, the former South African skipper said that the Proteas need to find their right XI and look for players who are playing in different leagues around the world. Speaking about Du Plessis, he said that it is still a question whether they will pick him straight for the World Cup to let him play a few series ahead of the ICC tournament to learn about the team's culture and preparations.
Smith also highlighted that because BCCI doesn't allow their players to play for other leagues, they don't face such a challenge, but for other boards it is a thing to face. He added, "We know Faf has the ability. The team has to decide how much time he needs to spend with the team."
While concluding the conversation, he said that it might be possible that the 37-year-old is happy to play in the leagues only and because he has retired from international cricket, he just wants to play league cricket.
Du Plessis did a good job while leading RCB. He scored 468 runs in this IPL season, following his successful season in 2021 for CSK. The T20I World Cup will start on October 16, while South Africa will play their first game on October 24 against a qualifying team from the first round.