Fri, 22 Jan 2021

Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen is eager to get the attention away from Cricket South Africa's (CSA's) boardroom squabbles and back to cricket.

There has been no competitive cricket for months during the nationwide lockdown, yet CSA had dominated the headlines with racism and public governance issues.

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Before England arrived in South Africa last week, there were even concerns that the England tour would not go ahead after CSA members council refused to hand over power to the interim board.

Eventually, the CSA members council caved in and appointed the nine-member interim board, which was named by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa in October.

International cricket is finally returning to South Africa with the Proteas taking on England in three T20s and three ODIs at Newlands and Boland Park starting this Friday.

Van der Dussen welcomed the England series and wants to get a positive message back in South African cricket.

"It's not ideal and over the course of winter, because there wasn't anything else happening, it was brought to the forefront," Van der Dussen told reporters on Tuesday.

"We're quite realistic in a sense that we know we can't do much about it. We are employed to play cricket and that's what we will continue to do.

"SACA (South African Cricketers' Association) talks on behalf of the players but we are quite realistic as we want to play cricket and perform and win games for our country. And by way of doing that, putting a positive message to the cricket-loving public," Van der Dussen continued.

"Leave it to the suits to sort out, all of us love cricket, fans love to watch cricket, we are a passionate nation and we want to beat anyone that we play against, so that's basically what it boils down to for us."

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With home series against West Indies, Pakistan, Ireland and Australia behind them, England is looking like firm favourites ahead of their limited-overs series against the Proteas.

Van der Dussen acknowledges that the reigning World Cup champions could be fatigued after their busy summer.

"It might (be a disadvantage) but you can see it from the other side of the coin, they are almost at the end of a long season. They're away from home, so there'll be some physical and mental fatigue, and on the other side, we're quite fresh," said Van der Dussen.

"We had some of our guys playing IPL (Indian Premier League), we've had local guys playing one or two CSA 4-Day matches, so we're ready physically and mentally. We're good to go and we're keen to start playing again.

"It's unprecedented times, it's made you realise how lucky and privileged you are. We're excited to get back out there and doing what we love."

The first T20 is scheduled to get underway on Friday at Newlands (18:00).

Source: News24

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