Faf to groom next Proteas captain with 2023 in mind?

Faf du Plessis (Getty Images)
Faf du Plessis (Getty Images)

Manchester - There is uncertainty hovering over the ODI future of Proteas captain Faf du Plessis, who acknowledged again on Saturday that he would have to make some big decisions once he arrived home from the World Cup. 

Du Plessis' century at Old Trafford helped South Africa to a 10-run win over Australia as the Proteas finished their tournament on a high even if they were nowhere near making the semi-finals. 

Losses to England, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand and Pakistan ensured that the Proteas were eliminated with two pool matches still to play and they eventually finished 7th in the competition. 

It was a bitterly disappointing return and one that has been met with harsh criticism from back home. 

Cricket South Africa (CSA) must now plan the way forward, and there are some major decisions that need to be made. 

Head coach Ottis Gibson is out of a contract at the end of September while convenor of selectors Linda Zondi has also served his term. 

Those are two key positions that must be resolved for the Proteas to start putting plans in place for the next World Cup, but the other is obviously the role of captain. 

While Du Plessis has opened the door on a possible retirement from the format, he also sees value in staying on to work with whoever the new captain will be. 

Part of that thinking could be centred on the fact that, right now, there is no obvious candidate to replace Du Plessis in the format. 

Aiden Markram has enough troubles with his batting right now to worry about the captaincy while 30-year-old Rassie van der Dussen is the other name that has emerged. 

"From a leadership point of view and with whoever is going to be the next captain, I think there is still a lot of value of playing with me for a year or two to make sure that they can learn and grow and mature into the next World Cup," Du Plessis said. 

There was also no need, Du Plessis said, for a complete player cleanout. 

"If your plan is to start introducing some young players, I think you need to have some experience around those players because they learn very quickly from those guys," he said. 

"I think to completely cut off everything is not necessary. I think probably four or five players make space into the team and then you start phasing it out by getting players ready four years' time."

Du Plessis also believes that Gibson, despite the poor World Cup showing, should have his contract extended. 

"I said initially the plan was for me and Ottis to go to the T20 World Cup so that is in a year's time," said Du Plessis.

"If Cricket South Africa believes they can do that and then change the coach and captain after that tournament and still have two-and-a-half, three years before the World Cup, that's also a possibility.

"But I don't have any idea what they are thinking, so I haven't had conversations with anyone back home. I assume that all of that stuff will fall on to my plate after this."

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...   

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