Faf du Plessis reveals his retirement plans

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The Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has revealed that in two years’ time, he will call time on his international career after the 2020 World T20 in Australia.

South Africa will lock horns with Australia in a one-off T20I at the Gold Coast on Saturday, and by the time the World T20 comes around Du Plessis will be 36.

“The T20 World Cup is in Australia and that’s not too far away, so hopefully we’ll be back for that and that will probably be my last international tour I would think,” Du Plessis said in Brisbane.

He feels that the strength of the various domestic T20 leagues means most countries, more often than not, can call upon their strongest side only during the World T20.

“From our perspective, T20 cricket for us over the last two or three years has been a case of bringing in the young guys, giving them an opportunity, so we never really play our strongest XI, which isn’t great for the international game,” he said.

“Football (has) a situation where it’s playing for your clubs and then there’s an international tournament. In my opinion, that’s a good place for T20 cricket to be in because you shouldn’t be trying to compete with the leagues because they are so strong at the moment.

“And I can see the same with other teams – it’s almost never their strongest teams, and fans come to watch the best players play.

“That’s where I see the game moving forward, but the T20 World Cup in 2020 is something I’m really looking forward to … that will probably be the last tournament for me.”

While Du Plessis, throughout his career, has been impressive across formats, it’s his gritty knock against Australia in Adelaide during the 2012/13 tour that he will mostly be remembered for. The right-handed batsman batted for more than a day to save the Test match as the tourists won the series 1-0.

Since then, Du Plessis has scored six centuries against Australia in all formats.

“I don’t know if (Adelaide) was a big part in that, but certainly what I’ve found out about myself is I enjoy the challenge of playing against the Australian team,” he said.

“It’s always a very, very competitive game and I think in general that brings the best out of me as a person, when there’s a tough moment in the game, or there’s a lot happening off the field, or the hardness of the challenge, as a character that brings the best out of me as a cricketer.

“I really love playing against Australia. It’s a hard place to come and travel – when you come here, people don’t always expect you to beat Australia so that once again brings the best out of me as a captain out of me as well,” he added.

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