Heinrich Klaasen. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES
Heinrich Klaasen. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES

Proteas Twenty20 stand-in captain Heinrich Klaasen says he suffered heart palpitations when he battled Covid-19 two months ago.

“It was a difficult two months for me. The first 16 to 17 days I was very sick and could not do anything‚” the 29-year-old said from Lahore, Pakistan‚ where the team is preparing for a three-match Twenty20 series at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Klaasen revealed the severity of his symptoms while battling the coronavirus and said it took him a long time to get his heart rate under control so he could train.

“When I could start exercising again I could not run 30m or do anything for two or three minutes without my heart rate going too high.”

Klaasen was one of three players in the Proteas camp who returned positive coronavirus tests in December during the limited-overs tour against England.

The hard-hitting wicketkeeper batsman said he is feeling healthy as he prepares to lead the Proteas in the absence of rested regular skipper Quinton de Kock.

“It’s been a different season for me. I think I have played [only] four games so far‚ which has been very frustrating‚” said Klaasen.

The three-match series will be played from February 11-14.

“I have finally recovered. It’s been a tough time since I tested positive on December 3.

“I’ve been working hard‚ but it is difficult to tell. We will probably see after these three games how the form is‚ but I’m hitting the ball very nicely and have been working hard at the Titans over the few weeks to get rhythm.

“The conditions here are different, but I’m looking forward to having a good series.”

In January, Cricket SA team management named Klaasen captain of the Proteas Twenty20 18-man squad, which includes several inexperienced players.

Okuhle Cele‚ Ryan Rickleton‚ Nandré Burger and Jacques Snyman were rewarded with maiden national team call-ups after impressive performances.

Glenton Stuurman‚ who was released midway through the Tests against Sri Lanka‚ also makes a return to the side.

Regulars Kagiso Rabada‚ Lungi Ngidi‚ Rassie van der Dussen‚ Faf du Plessis and captain De Kock returned to SA after the Test series.

“We do have a few guys who are normally in the squad who are not here. But the way we are playing‚ with Covid-19 in mind and those types of things‚ the guys need to rest. It gives the other guys the opportunity to showcase their skills,” said Klaasen.

“They deserve it because they have been doing well for a few seasons and are in good form in the Momentum One Day Cup.

“We are by no means a second-string team and we are definitely looking to win the three-match series,” he said.

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