DURBAN - An international cap is not something that can ever be taken for granted, even with the plethora of matches on the calendar these days. So, when that first call-up occurs, it comes with a deep sense of pride for the recipient.
“It definitely came as a bit of a shock, especially at my age, but it is still one of the best phone calls to get,” Robbie Frylinck said of his recent call-up to the Proteas T20 international squad.
“Being an international cricketer was something that I really wanted to do, so it doesn’t matter when the call came. To be able to walk onto the field and play was very special, and no one can ever take that cap away from me now.”
Frylinck explained that the South African dressing-room was very welcoming, and he felt as if he had been part of the set-up for years.
“The guys definitely welcomed me with open arms. I am sure that it helps that I have played with or against a lot of them over the years, but it was a very comfortable environment to walk into,” the all-rounder said.
On the field, Frylinck agreed that the step-up in intensity and quality is immediately apparent. Though he started with three dot balls, two of his last three balls went to the fence, as Bangladesh came out blazing in Bloemfontein.
“I think our franchise system is of a very good standard, but the step-up is definitely apparent. Your margins for error are that much tighter, and batsmen are coming at you all the time.”
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan was his maiden international scalp, and Frylinck admits that he felt he had a chance with him, given the way he was playing.
“I didn’t expect him to come at me from ball one, but then I fancied my chances because of the way he was playing. He is certainly not a bad wicket to have as my first one, given his record in white-ball cricket over the years,” the 33-year-old pointed out.
The whole experience, Frylinck added, was one that filled him with pride, given the fact that the end is now closer than the beginning.
It has been a stellar few years for him, on and off the field. He is a new father, a senior player at the Dolphins and, now, an international cricketer.
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Given his bag of skills, he is also not giving up on the possibility of earning another cap, and perhaps bringing his wife and young daughter along for the experience.
Now, with that box ticked, attention turns back to the Dolphins, and their domestic fortunes.
The excitement over the T20 Global League is on ice, but Frylinck maintains that there is much to be played for this term.
“Obviously the T20 Global League is a tragedy on its own, but we have to move on and focus on our own goals as the Dolphins. The T20 Challenge is another trophy to try and put in the cabinet, and that will be our focus for the next few weeks,” Frylinck said.
The T20 Challenge starts next Friday.