JP Duminy says his selection as Cape Town Knight Riders skipper will enhance his performance.
The Proteas batsman was unveiled as the Knight Riders captain, along with the CTKR head coach Jaques Kallis on Monday.
SACricketmag.com caught up with JP Duminy at the JP 21 Project launch of his new Super Eights venture on Tuesday.
‘I’m ecstatic,’ Duminy said of the T20 Global League. ‘To be able to do it in front of my home crowd … it’s a huge honour to captain any team.
‘I had the opportunity to captain my country in three T20s and captained Deli [Daredevils] two years ago, so I had a small taste of it. I thoroughly enjoyed the responsibility and what it brings out in me as a cricketer. I think it brings out the best in me, so hopefully that will show in the performances in this tournament.’
Capetonians can be excited by the appointment of Kallis. The Proteas legend had success in the IPL with the Kolkata Knight Riders, as they made it to this year’s final. They did this by playing an explosive brand of cricket, which Kallis promised to implement in Cape Town.
The gaffer has not sat down with his captain, however, with the tournament still two months away.
‘Because it has just been announced, we haven’t had the chance to sit down and chat about the strategy or the way we want to go about it,’ Duminy continued.
‘Unfortunately, this will be a tournament that will be a little rushed … we play a T20 series, an ODI series and a Test series against Bangladesh … so we are going to probably meet about four days before our first game. We are going to have to be very clued up in terms of what we want to do, how we want to play the game and what will be our formula for success.
‘He’s [Kallis] had some great success with the Kolkata Knight Riders, he understands the culture of the Knight Riders family, they’ve got a team in Trinidad as well. They are obviously bringing that same support structure into this setup and I’m very privileged to be a part of it.’
Duminy also highlighted the importance of developing young players.
‘At the end of the day it’s not only about winning cricket games, it’s about developing cricketers and giving younger guys the opportunities to rub shoulders with the greats of the game.
‘This is no better time to do it. I had the opportunity when I was younger to play with Sachin Tendulkar, to be in the same changing room as him, and see how he went about preparing for matches was great for me. There are guys like Jason [Smith] and many local guys who can learn a lot from the senior guys in the squad.’
When asked whether he will use the tournament to get him ready for Proteas selection, Duminy emphasised that he will be aiming to be back in the squad for the Bangladesh series before the T20 tournament kicks off in November.
‘I’m obviously wanting to get back there in some way or another,’ he said. ‘But look, the tournament is still a long way away, there’s still the Bangladesh series that we need to focus on and that’s going to be my primary focus now.’
Transformation has been overlooked by CSA for the T20 Global League, with a majority of franchises selecting only two black African players.
Duminy did not have anything to say about CSA’s decision to exclude transformation targets, walking gingerly around the topic.
‘I do not have an opinion on that,’ he said. ‘Transformation is always crucial in our country and always will be, but I’m a firm believer that when you are given an opportunity, that you have to take it with both hands.
‘That’s something I understood from a young age; I was given the opportunity to play for Western Province from a young age and I had to take advantage of my opportunity to get the most out of it.’