Reeza Hendricks hopes to make T20 World Cup squad after missing out in 2019
The opening batsman had to make way for Hashim Amla despite sizzling debut
Reeza Hendricks has admitted there will be some nervous cricketers in the Proteas camp ahead of the squad announcement for the forthcoming men’s T20 World Cup to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman in October.
The 15-member squad will be announced on Thursday, on the same day Cricket SA launches its restructured domestic 2021/2022 season.
“It is interesting times ahead. The next couple of days will keep a few boys on their toes to see what the outcome is,” the 32-year-old Hendricks said from Colombo in Sri Lanka.
Hendricks usually opens the batting with Quinton de Kock in T20s for the Proteas and is one of the established players in the shorter format with 33 matches under his belt — in only three of those matches did he not open the batting. But even with 881 runs to his name at an average of 26.69 and a strike rate of 122 with a high score of 71, Hendricks will be sitting on the edge of his seat waiting to hear his name.
“We are definitely looking forward to it to see what the outcome is and who is selected or not, but I don’t want to look too far ahead. The competition is obviously a good thing. There are a lot of good players in the squad,” said Hendricks.
“But I can control what I can control, which is to put in the hard yards, and when I do get an opportunity to contribute to the team, I can control what I can.”
Hendricks has scored six T20 half-centuries and his last for the Proteas was a top score of 69 in Ireland in July, having also impressed in the West Indies in June.
He missed out on the 2019 World Cup in England when the Proteas kept faith in the experienced Hashim Amla. There was no room for the promising Hendricks, who announced his arrival on the ODI circuit with a sizzling century on debut in Sri Lanka in August 2018.
“I’d love to think that I would be involved and be selected, but again, we will see what happens come Thursday,” he said.
The Proteas have consistently been among the favourites at both the ODI and T20 World Cup tournaments since the late 1990s but have never made it past the semifinal stages of either event. Hendricks said that is a record Temba Bavuma and his team will be determined to correct this time around when they start their campaign against Australia in Abu Dhabi on October 23.
“We are also quite confident as a team and we definitely back ourselves ... I think the team we have at the moment and the way we are playing, we are quite confident and hoping to do well.”
Along with Australia, the Proteas will do battle in Group A of the Super 12 stage with England and defending champions West Indies. They will be joined by two qualifiers still to be determined.
The Proteas will play West Indies on October 26 in Dubai and England on November 6 in Sharjah.