“I would be open to that”

Newly appointed South Africa national team manager Rob Walter has opened the door for Faf du Plessis’ return to the national team. Walter admitted South Africa need quality players like Du Plessis for a resurgence after their recent struggles.

The former Proteas skipper has not worn any national colors since February 2021 after the second friendly against Pakistan in Rawalpindi. In franchise cricket, however, he has been in encouraging form, excelling in the Indian Premier League (IPL), SA20 and Australia’s Big Bash League.

Speaking to the Rapport newspaper, Walter explained that the veteran batsman may have retired from Test cricket but remains a superb player in the shortest format. He revealed he is open to talks with Faf du Plessis to play for South Africa again, saying:

“Faf has not yet retired. He still plays very good T20 cricket. He will build his future around the T20 leagues. I haven’t even spoken to him yet, but if he wants to talk about the possibility of playing for South Again Africa I’d be open to that.

“He’s a quality player and the more quality players you have that want to play for South Africa the better. If he’s one of those players, that’s great. Does that mean he’ll play for South Africa again? I don’t know.” .”

Du Plessis has not been selected in South Africa’s squad for the forthcoming ODI series against England at home. The Proteas have retained Temba Bavuma as captain, but his future as captain remains unclear following the 2022 T20 World Championship debacle.

“We have a very clear policy outlining the availability of players without a contract” – Chief Selector of Faf du Plessis national team

Faf du Plessis. (Image credit: Getty)
Faf du Plessis. (Image credit: Getty)

Last year, Chief Selector Victor Mpitsang explained the selection criteria for out-of-contract players. He stated that in order to play for the Proteas, they would have to play for, or be available for, a South African professional team.

As quoted by SA Cric Mag, Mpitsang said:

“We have a very clear policy outlining the availability of unsigned players. A player who does not have a national contract must previously play for a South African professional team or be immediately available for such a team [playing] for the proteas.”

Faf du Plessis announced his retirement from the Test in February 2021, citing his strained relationship with then-coach Mark Boucher. With 1,528 runs in 50 games at a 35.53 average and batting average of 134.38, he remains South Africa’s fifth-highest run-getter in T20Is.

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