David Bedingham says a call from Proteas coach Shukri Conrad persuaded him to make himself available for the Test team rather than seek a place in the SA20.
The 29-year-old right-handed batsman made an impressive Test debut for the Proteas against India in Centurion last week. He scored 56 and impressed observers with his stroke play, calm demeanour and shot selection.
Bedingham and Keegan Petersen are the only two players who took part in that Test who have been named in South Africa’s squad for two Tests in New Zealand, with all the other first-choice players committed to the SA20.
“I took my name out of the draft so that I could play in New Zealand,” Bedingham told journalists on Monday ahead of the second Test against India starting at Newlands on Wednesday.
“Shuks [Conrad] called and said there’s a possibility. When I heard that no one from SA20 can play I thought my chances of playing are quite high. I didn’t have a second thought.
“I told him I would take my name out of the draft.”
Bedingham added that being selected for the series against India had come as a surprise.
Bedingham played for SA U19 in 2012-13 and was long regarded as one of the country’s most promising young players.
But a serious car accident in 2016 kept him out of cricket for a year, contributing to him making a relatively late international debut.
Bedingham has played English county cricket for Durham since 2020. He is still trying to secure a British passport – but not so he can play for England.
He has a claim to British citizenship through ancestry and took no part in the 2022-23 South African domestic season, leading to speculation that he saw his future in England.
“I’m still trying to get a passport in England but it’s not for cricket, it’s for after cricket.” he said.
“I’d like to continue playing there [in England] but since I’ve gone there I’ve played as an overseas player and I don’t think that will change.”
He refuted that he had entertained ambitions of playing for England.
“I had ambitions of playing [county cricket] as a local but if I was going to play for England it would still be another three or four years.”
© Agence France-Presse
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images