Former Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis on Wednesday opened up about his snub from South Africa’s 2021 T20 World Cup squad, saying that the unrealistic expectations of CSA were the reason behind his exclusion. What makes Du Plessis’ omission even more baffling is that he retired from Test cricket earlier this year to focus on the T20 format. It was also the first instance when Du Plessis missed out on South Africa’s World Cup team since making his debut in 2011.
The dashing right-handed batter was in fine form leading up to the event. He was also the player of the match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to lift their fourth title. Despite his purple patch, the 37-year-old was not picked for South Africa’s 15-man squad.
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Speaking with ESPNCricinfo, Du Plessis said CSA wanted him to play in limited overseas leagues and more international games and their inability to find a middle ground led to his exclusion.
“I am on a different journey now. Last year when I played for SA against England the plan was very much to play at the World Cup and that was the talk. It was really difficult though for Cricket SA and myself to find something that still allowed me to play overseas because that’s obviously why I retired from Test cricket especially,” Du Plessis told ESPN Cricinfo.
“They tried to but we couldn’t find a middle ground and I think they wanted people who were available all the time and that made it a challenge for the guys like myself and Imran Tahir because we were playing overseas as well.
“I think that’s the challenge now because we are playing overseas and they want us to play all the games which is an unrealistic expectation,” he added.
Du Plessis is one of the most sought after players in T20 cricket and his national side clearly missed his experience as they exited the 2021 T20 WC from the Super 12 round.