Lizaad Williams shares mixed emotions of Proteas debut: 'I was a bit overwhelmed'

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South Africa's Lizaad Williams celebrating wicket (AFP)
South Africa's Lizaad Williams celebrating wicket (AFP)
Christiaan Kotze / AFP
  • Fast bowler Lizaad Williams said he had mixed emotions when receiving the call from Proteas selection convenor Victor Mpitsang.
  • Williams admitted a sleepless night and nerves when he made his Proteas debut in the opening T20 on Saturday.
  • Williams, who took 3/35 in the second T20 on Monday, stated that he is delighted to contribute in the ongoing four-match T20 series against Pakistan.

Proteas fast bowler Lizaad Williams says he had mixed emotions when he made his international debut in the ongoing T20I series against Pakistan.

Williams received his maiden national call-up after a marvellous summer for the Titans, which saw him take 27 wickets in six 4-Day Franchise Series games and seven wickets in five T20 Challenge games.

Speaking in a CSA video, Williams revealed that he had mixed emotions when receiving the call from Proteas selection convenor Victor Mpitsang.

"It was mixed emotions when I got the call from Vic. I was obviously happy but it's news that I wanted to share with my mom (Lizette), who passed away a few months ago (in late 2019)," he said.

Last year, Williams made the bold move and relocated to Pretoria to represent the Titans after eight long seasons with the Cape Cobras.

Williams added that it was satisfying to see his hard work and decision-making pay off as his dream became a reality last Saturday.

"In a sense, it was satisfying to see all my hard work and all the sacrifices I made," said Williams.

"I had to make a decision to leave everything in Cape Town and move to the Titans, and looking back on all the sacrifices I made to achieve the dream. So there's a lot of satisfaction but I was very happy to be recognised for my performances at domestic level."

Williams was excited to once again work with former Proteas fast bowler and now bowling coach Charl Langeveldt.

"When I started my professional career, Charl was still in Cape Town playing. I played two seasons with him as a youngster and I learned a lot during that time," said Williams.

"When I got the call up, I was very excited to work with him again and take my game to the next level and improve."

Williams had a sleepless night leading up to Saturday's opening T20I against Pakistan at the Wanderers.

"When Boucher told me, I was a bit overwhelmed that this dream is a reality. I slept poorly, I was awake at four in the morning thinking about my debut and wanting it to go well. But that's just the norm of how it goes," he said.

The 27-year-old got his maiden scalp as he bowled Faheem Ashraf for 30 - ending with figures of 1/39 - as the Proteas lost by four wickets.

"I was nervous. I said to Aiden (Markram) that it was a bit different without the crowd so it's just you and the opponents," said Williams.

"The crowd brings an extra presence so making your debut without any fans made it easier. It was still a very nervous moment... It's been an unbelievable experience, I'm very honoured to represent my country at the highest level."

The Proteas went unchanged in Monday's second T20 and bounced back to level the four-match T20 series 1-1.

Williams was in fine touch with the ball as he took 3/35 to help restrict Pakistan to 140/9 and cruise to a six-wicket victory.

Williams, who hails from Vredenburg on the Cape West Coast, stated that he had changed his mindset in his second game after a mixed debut.

"I was very happy to contribute in the last game with two big games still coming up," he said.

"The biggest thing for me was having clarity in my mind when I go up and bowl. In the first game, I was a bit caught up in the end result of the delivery but last night, I had a clearer mind in terms of executing to the best of my ability."

The third T20 is scheduled for Wednesday at 14:30.

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