Proteas captain Faf du Plessis says that it is important for Cricket SA to get the Global League T20 tournament off the ground as it could provide a platform for players who might not get an opportunity to feature in other tournaments.
Du Plessis was speaking at Cricket SA’s season launch at SuperSport Park in Centurion this week ahead of what will be a preparatory season for the 2019 World Cup.
SA will host Zimbabwe‚ Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the 2018-2019 home season and there is a gap in the SA domestic calendar for the tournament to take place.
Du Plessis said they have been informed of a meeting this weekend that will give them direction concerning the tournament. The tournament was postponed in 2017 and Cricket SA has had problems getting it back on track in 2018.
“It’s really important for Cricket SA to have the tournament because it’s important for the youth of this country to have a crack‚” he said. “If you look at the youngsters who’ve come through the Indian Premier League [IPL]‚ they’re able to put out good teams because there’s a great domestic circuit where the young players are exposed to cricket with the best players from around the world.
“It’s important for us as a cricketing nation to grow with a tournament like that. I’ve been in the IPL for eight years and I can see the window closing on SA players,” he said.
“They’re looking at Australian and English players‚ which means we need a tournament like the Big Bash where the players can perform well to get recognition,” said the captain.
“I’m a big believer in transparency and being open and honest in regards with what’s going on. I’m hoping‚ as Cricket SA CEO Thabang Moroe said‚ there’s going to be a big meeting this weekend from where we could get some answers.”
While SA were consummately beaten in the Test series on their recent tour to Sri Lanka‚ they exacted a measure of revenge in the first part of the ODI series, where they won the first three matches comfortably before slipping back into defeat patterns for the last matches.
Du Plessis said there were performances from some individuals that have given the team hope for the build-up to the World Cup, while young all-rounders within the Proteas squad had also provided substantial reasons for optimism.
Du Plessis left midway through the limited-overs leg of the Sri Lanka tour with a shoulder injury but should be fit for the campaign against Zimbabwe at the end of September.
“We went to Sri Lanka looking to have more questions answered‚” he said. “We went there with quite a few gaps in the team and one or two question marks.
“Some were responded to nicely with someone like Reeza Hendricks, who wasn’t even close to the 15 getting a 100 in one game, putting pressure on the guys who are there. That’s the purpose of giving people an opportunity; to put more pressure to eliminate OK performances. With the all-rounders‚ there are a few questions, but fortunately we have a very good youngster in Wiaan Mulder.
“And with youngsters‚ you have the opportunity of giving them more opportunities and time, whereas with an older guy‚ you’re more inclined to be short-sighted in what you’re trying to get from the individual,” said Du Plessis.