HE’D spent years dreaming of the day he’d play international cricket so a month ago Faf du Plessis (26) couldn’t have imagined what lay ahead of him in 2011.
First Indian Premier League team the Chennai Super Kings bought him in early January for R867 000 – for only 14 days’ work.
And just a week later, when he eventually made his debut for South Africa, he scored 60 runs against India, his team’s highest individual score on the day.
He also capitalised on all three of the catches that came his way in his three international matches so far. But that wasn’t the end of his good fortune.
Just after his debut match for the Proteas he heard he was included in SA’s World Cup team for the tournament in India.
Now he’s hoping for one more conquest. The right-handed batsman says if the Proteas win the World Cup his wildest dreams for the year will have come true.
He assures us the squad won’t come unstuck at the critical moment as they have done in the past.
“Before, fans were justified in expecting the Proteas to choke when it mattered but those days are over,” he says. "We’re a young team that doesn’t deserve that label; we will show you things have changed.”
Because of their tendency to fall apart at the crucial moment the Proteas aren’t among the favourites in this year’s World Cup. Faf believes it could be to their advantage to have fewer expectations and less pressure.
This year the green-and-gold push will take the opposition completely by surprise, he says confidently.
Read all about it in YOU, 10 February 2011.