Rassie van der Dussen puts disappointment aside to help Proteas prepare for T20 World Cup

Rassie van der Dussen wasn’t selected in the Proteas’ T20 World Cup squad, but is committed to help the team prepare for the showpiece event. Picture: Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

Rassie van der Dussen wasn’t selected in the Proteas’ T20 World Cup squad, but is committed to help the team prepare for the showpiece event. Picture: Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

Published May 23, 2024


Rassie van der Dussen is committed to help the Proteas prepare for the T20 World Cup despite being left out of squad for the showpiece event in the West Indies and United States.

Van der Dussen’s T20 World Cup snub came as a bit of shock, especially because he has scored the second most runs in T20 cricket in 2024. The veteran right-hander has scored 1,023 runs at strike-rate of 146.35, which includes two centuries. Only Pakistan’s Babar Azam has scored more runs.

Van der Dussen’s MI Cape Town and Lions teammate Ryan Rickelton got the nod ahead of him, although it must be said that the dashing left-hander has also enjoyed a spectacular 2024, as he is fifth on the runs-scorers’ list with just under a 1,000 runs this calender year, while going at a healthy strike-rate of 159.

Van der Dussen will lead the Proteas against the West Indies in three T20 Internationals as they prepare for next month’s World Cup. The first match is on Thursday night at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica (9pm start).

— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) May 20, 2024

It would be easy for Van der Dussen to think about himself and go into these matches with a mindset of proving the selectors wrong. However, he says his only motivation is to help the youngsters in the squad, such as Ottniel Baartman and Rickelton, who haven’t played international cricket in the Caribbean, to prepare well ahead of the World Cup.

“I don’t feel like I need to prove anything. It’s pretty standard what I’m about as a cricketer,” Van der Dussen said ahead of the match against the Windies.

“Yes, the coach has to pick a World Cup squad and there are only 15 guys who can go. He has to come up with combinations to give us the best chance as a squad and as a country. And that’s what it’s all about.

“I’m not in a situation where I haven’t played a lot of international cricket in the T20s ... being a captain, yes that is a new challenge for me. From my side, I need to help the guys get ready for the World Cup to put in a performance.

“We’re all fighting towards the same goal. And I think the important thing is for everyone to give their input and then trust the guys who will be doing a job for us.”

Baartman and Rickelton will certainly feature for the Proteas in the T20s against the Windies, especially with a host of the Proteas’ mainstays either returning from the Indian Premier League (IPL) or still involved in the tournament.

This series will give coach Rob Walter a chance to see if Baartman and Rickelton can replicate their SA20 League form on the international stage.

“Ideally you want the whole squad to be together and play some matches before the World Cup. But we know the guys are at the IPL and doing what they need to do there,” Van der Dussen said.

“The positive from that point of view is that they are playing cricket and that they are in good touch. So they won’t be undercooked coming into the World Cup.

“We as a broader squad have been playing together for a few years now. So luckily for us it’s not a case of guys coming in and not knowing what the team dynamic is about.

“There is an opportunity for guys like Ottniel Baartman and Ryan Rickelton who hasn’t been here before to just get a feel for what’s going on. They are world-class players in their own right, so it will be great to get a few good performances under their belt.”