Former Proteas skipper and currently the Director of Cricket South Africa (CSA) Graeme Smith has thrown some lights on the absence of senior batsman Faf du Plessis in the recently announced squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.
Du Plessis wasn’t named in the 15-member outfit announced by the apex cricket board on Thursday (September 09), which the CSA Convenor of Selectors, Victor Mpitsang, termed as ‘a world-beating squad’.
Du Plessis, who is widely regarded as one of the best T20 batsmen, has appeared in 50 T20I games for his nation, scoring 1,528 runs at an average of 35.53, including a hundred and ten half-centuries. The Pretoria-lad is currently captaining St Lucia Kings in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and last week smashed a scintillating century.
Talking about Faf’s omission from the Proteas T20 World Cup squad, Smith said Du Plessis is a ‘free agent’, and it was not possible to reach an agreement with the 37-year-old, as he is no longer contracted with CSA.
Smith said that dealing with free agents like Du Plessis, one needed to find a balance that works for both the player and the board, and CSA struggled to find that balance, so he was not included in the squad.
“When you are working with free agents, you have to come together. You have to find that balance that works for both the team and the free agents. With Faf in particular, we struggled to find that balance,” said Smith as quoted by The South African.
South Africa squad for T20 World Cup 2021: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, WIaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.
Travelling Reserves: George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lizaad Williams.