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South Africa’s Test and Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis has hinted that he will walk away from international cricket after the 2019 World Cup.
In an interview in the May 2017 edition of GQ Magazine, Du Plessis said that he and “a number of senior players” would hang up their boots after the International Cricket Council (ICC) event.
However, Du Plessis confirmed that he will continue representing the Proteas in all three formats up to that point.
“I see myself heading towards the 2019 World Cup playing all formats of the game and then calling time on my career,” Du Plessis said.
While Du Plessis did not go in more detail about who the other “senior players” are, it is likely that AB de Villiers is among them.
The reason behind this is the fact that De Villiers wants to remain as fresh as possible heading into the 2019 World Cup since he knows it is likely to be his last chance to help his country taste World Cup glory for the first time.
With De Villiers not playing Test cricket until the end of the year, Du Plessis admitted that his absence is a big loss, but added that the team supports his decision.
“I can’t sit and say he should be playing Test cricket because the guy has been doing it for 12 years and 106 Test matches,” Du Plessis said. “It translates to so much time away from home and people have to understand that there is a human side of the decision to consider.
“However, from a cricket point of view, I would obviously be the first to say that AB needs to play Tests for South Africa because he is one of the best batsmen in the world.
“For him, it’s about spending more time at home and getting to the 2019 World Cup. He wants to ensure he remains mentally fresh and his body is still going strong. I fully respect AB’s decision but I don’t agree with it.”
Du Plessis was also asked about the growing number of South African players that have opted to sign Kolpak deals and give up on their international careers.
Pace bowler Kyle Abbott and batsman Rilee Rossouw were two of the more high-profile players to go down this avenue as they were concerned about what the future held for them in regards to the national team.
As a result of this, Du Plessis urged Cricket South Africa to provide better “job security” and ensure players are taken care of financially.
“CSA need to be proactive by paying more and offering longer contracts,” Du Plessis said. “Stability is the key to success and you want to build a team that is going to take the country forward.”