Independent Online

Friday, August 19, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

’It’s been a long time coming’, says Rassie van der Dussen on his opportunity to play in the IPL

Rassie van der Dussen of South Africa celebrates his century during the first 2022 Betway One Day Series game between South Africa and India at Boland in Paarl on 19 January 2022 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Rassie van der Dussen of South Africa celebrates his century during the first 2022 Betway One Day Series game between South Africa and India at Boland in Paarl on 19 January 2022 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Feb 15, 2022

Share

Johannesburg - Like his journey into international cricket, the road to the Indian Premier League was a long one for Rassie van der Dussen.

The 33-year-old right- hander was picked up late in the extended IPL draft at the weekend by the Rajasthan Royals, for R2-million.

Story continues below Advertisement

“I’ve been a Rajasthan fan since the early days when Graeme Smith and those guys played there,” Van der Dussen said from Christchurch on Wednesday. Smith, was part of the Royals team that, captained by Shane Warne, caused a shock in the inaugural IPL in 2008 and won the tournament. “There are world class players there, and it will be an honour to play with those guys.”

Among the big names at the Royals this year are the renowned Indian off-spinner Ravichandaran Ashwin, big hitting England wicket-keeper/batter Jos Buttler and New Zealand trio Trent Boult, Daryl Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham.

Van der Dussen would have been in the Royals team last year as a replacement for Ben Stokes, but was unable to obtain a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from Cricket SA. He was also due to play in the Caribbean Premier League for the St Kitts and Nevis franchise, but couldn't obtain a visa because of travel restrictions related to the Covid pandemic.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Van der Dussen said of his opportunity to play in the most lucrative cricket competition in the world. “Early on in my career I was an opener and then moved to the middle order and I had to adjust my game. I feel that at this stage of my career I have all those aspects covered in terms of batting anywhere from 1 to 5. Playing in different conditions in the last few years has helped, I feel I’ve adapted well and that is key for a batter to adapt, and have a particular set of skills for all aspects, which you can call upon when it is needed.”

Van der Dussen made his international debut in the T20 format in October 2018, reward that year for his consistency for the Highveld Lions in the white balls formats the previous few seasons. He quickly established himself as a crucial part of the South African batting unit, and was picked for the 2019 50-over World Cup in England. Since then he has become ‘Mr. Dependable’ for the Proteas across all three formats.

“Cricket is a sport of opportunity, you can’t do too much, if you don’t get the opportunities,” he said. “Throughout my career, and it is the same with the IPL, I’ve had to wait quite a long time to get those opportunities. So this has followed the same path as my international career from domestic cricket. I don’t see it as reward, I see it as another challenge in my career. Hopefully I get an opportunity and can be successful in another avenue of our game.”

Story continues below Advertisement

This year’s IPL is scheduled to start on April 2. Van der Dussen and the Proteas Test players - including Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi - are only likely to join their franchises in the third week of the tournament because of the Test series with Bangladesh which finishes on April 12.

@shockerhess

Share