Faf du Plessis joked in the build-up to the Australian clash that the Proteas have given JP Duminy a couple of farewell cheers over the past few seasons.
Duminy, of course, retired from Test cricket two years ago here in England. But on Saturday evening at Old Trafford, Du Plessis and the Proteas conveyed their goodbyes to the “father figure” of the national team for the final time, after Duminy retired from all forms of international cricket after the 10-run victory over the Australians.
"There is going to come a time in everyone's career when you feel like it is time to bow out," Duminy said. "I have been fortunate enough to kind of have a say in how I bow out. And in a cricket career there is not many players who get to do that. I guess I am in a fortunate position to make that call for myself."
Duminy was expected to avail himself for next year’s World T20 in Australia, but will now play only T20 franchise cricket around the world, starting with a gig in Canada in a few weeks time before heading off to the inaugural Euro T20 Slam.
The 35-year-old, father of two, does not have any long-term plans further than his Euro trip, but does envisage remaining in the game in some capacity.
"I have got a huge passion for the culture of teams and businesses. So that's something I am considering getting into. Who knows, I might be back here again with a different title. You never know,” he said.
"But just kind of now soaking it all in, enjoying this moment with my team-mates. Obviously it hasn't been the greatest of the tournaments. It's been a dismal couple of games but I think the last week that we had together was really enjoyable in the way we played, this is the type of cricket we know we can play. Hopefully this is something that can be consistent in the next couple of years. I am pretty excited for what's to come for the Proteas."
Duminy played 46 Tests. Fell one short of 200 ODI’s and a further 81 T20Is. It is in the latter format that he will finish as South Africa’s most capped player and leading run-scorer in fact, with 1934 runs at an average of 38.68.
But for Duminy it was never about the numbers. He admits that that the output should have been greater considering his natural talent, but hopes that he’s left the game with something more than just statistics.
"Whatever the team required. That was kind of my mindset," Duminy said. "Yes, personal accolades are great but it was never about ... whatever the team needed at any given time, that was always my main focus. I hope my teammates saw that and that's something I will be remembered for. The numbers produced are not going to go up against some of the best, and that's okay with me.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and the experience I have had. Again, in 10 years' time, it's not about the numbers you want to be remembered for. It's about the person you are."@ZaahierAdams