Cape Town - Proteas all-rounder JP Duminy is relishing the prospect of facing the Springboks in the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup match at Newlands on Thursday.
Two of South Africa’s national teams meet in the third edition of the clash, which is sponsored by Prepaid24.com - a strategic business partner of Blue Label Telecoms and an online retailer of its prepaid services.
The national cricket team is made up of several players who recently beat Australia 2-1 in their Test series down under, with the like of captain Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla and Kyle Abbott all joining Duminy.
The national rugby team is headed by prominent international stars like Patrick Lambie and Damian de Allende, while they were also bolstered earlier this week by the inclusion of former Proteas captain, Graeme Smith in a player/coach capacity.
“It’s obviously a great occasion that both the Springboks and Proteas look forward to,” Duminy said ahead of the game.
“I’ve been part of two games so far, one I was captain and the other I was commentator so it’s good to be a player this time round.
“It’s all for a good course and being a South African sportsman it’s always nice to give back to the South African public. So we’re looking forward to it.”
Duminy was also expecting Smith, who played in 117 Test matches and scored over 9 000 runs, to provide some much needed steel to the Springboks’ line-up.
“It’s a bit difficult when they try and claim one of ours,” he quipped. “Graeme Smith’s in there, so we’re going to take the Aussie route and come a bit harder at them seeing that they’ve got Graeme Smith on their side.
“Without a doubt (the bowlers will be going full tilt at him). So there will be some bumpers thrown in, we don’t mind the extras, so we’ll come hard at them.”
Another national 100-cap plus hero in the mix for the Boks is ex-captain Jean de Villiers. It will be his first involvement in the fixture after he sustained injuries prior to the first two editions.
“I’ve also been selected for two games previously,” he recalled.
“The first one I felt sick on the day and was unable to play. In the second game I got a small little knee injury a week before so couldn’t play either.
“For me it’s great to be involved in this one. I think the amazing thing about Nelson Mandela is how he united this country. Even though he isn’t with us anymore, he’s still doing it. And even though it’s cricket and rugby and all the fans coming together, I think it just speaks of the legacy of the man, what he stood for and what he is still doing.”
Even though the fixture is expected to be played in a light-hearted climate, De Villiers conceded that no one wanted to lose.
“We’re all competitive by nature, so it should make for a good game,” he added.
And there were some mind games too from the 109-capped former Springbok, who concluded by stating: “But I don’t think we’ve got a chance”.
From the Proteas side, all six franchises have at least one representative in the Proteas line-up.
The match is played to honour the country’s founding president and has the aim of raising substantial funds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Fans are encouraged to make their donations to the Nelson Mandela Foundation via a dedicated SMS line on match day.
Tickets prices range from R120 to R180 and can be purchased through www.ticketpro.co.za or at the Newlands ticket office.
Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Mangaliso Mosehle (Highveld Lions), Faf du Plessis (Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), David Miller (Knights), Farhaan Behardien (Titans), Wayne Parnell (Cape Cobras), Dwaine Pretorius (Highveld Lions), Aaron Phangiso (Highveld Lions), Imran Tahir (Dolphins), Kyle Abbott (Warriors).
Tiaan Liebenberg, Pat Lambie (captain), Faf de Klerk, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Graeme Smith, Conrad Jantjes. Sergeal Petersen, Butch James, Damian De Allende, Trevor Nyakane, Jean de Villiers.
Not batting: Stephan Dippenaar and Percy Montgomery.
All 13 players in the squad will field, but will use “running substitutes” so there won’t be more than 11 on the field at any given time. Percy Montgomery will only field, and Siya Kolisi is the non-playing reserve / water carrier.