JP Duminy will bid farewell to Newlands. Photo: Deryck Foster BackpagePix
Having begun his professional career as a nervous 17-year-old schoolboy under the watch of Table Mountain all those years ago, JP Duminy may have a lump in his throat when he lines up for the national anthem in today’s fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka at Newlands.

Nobody will certainly begrudge the classy left-hander a touch of emotion for it will be the final time Duminy wears the Proteas’ green-and-gold in an ODI in his home town. The 34-year-old, who only recently returned to action from a shoulder injury, will retire after the World Cup later this year.

“The last few months on the sidelines have given me an opportunity to re-assess my career going forward and to plot some goals I’d like to achieve in the future,” Duminy said.

“While a decision like this is never easy, I also feel that it is the right time for me to pass on the baton. I will still be available to play international and domestic T20 cricket, but would also like to invest more time towards my growing family, who are my number one priority.

“I have been privileged to live out my dream playing a sport I love, and I am forever grateful for the support I have received from my team mates, coaches, family, friends and fans.”

Before Duminy rides off into the sunset to be a doting father, there is a small matter of a first-ever World Cup to win. It is expected that the veteran all-rounder will need to play a leading role, particularly as he brings a great deal of balance to the Proteas. However, with Duminy not yet fully recovered from the injury that kept him out of the game for almost eight months, today’s dead-rubber against the islanders is another opportunity for him to test his fitness.

“It is not 100% yet. It is important to manage it well and I have a good support team around me. It is a daily process for me,” Duminy explained.

“It is literally is getting stronger every 24 hours. But that’s only through rehab and maintenance that it allows it to get stronger. It is more the fielding. The bowling is coming along nicely.”

The Proteas are seeking to close out a successive 5-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka, but Duminy believes the overall result means nothing in context of the World Cup.

“In the greater scheme of things how much does that matter?” Duminy said. “We can lose a series 5-0 going into a Cup and everyone will say we’ve got no chance, and we could end up winning it.

“There is just no way of knowing what is going to happen ... you’ve got to go out there and believe in the team you’re walking out onto the park with.

“It’s not necessarily the amount of cricket you play. I think it’s just the mindset that you’re in. From a mental perspective, I think the team and everybody is in a really good space. That’s the important thing going into a World Cup.” 

@ZaahierAdams 


Weekend Argus 

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