Faf du Plessis to finish T20I career with 2020 World T20
Faf du Plessis will walk away from T20 cricket after the 2020 World T20. (Getty Images)

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis revealed on Friday that the 2020 World T20 in Australia in two years’ time from now will be his last. Du Plessis, who will be 36 by then, has led South Africa in two World T20Is – in 2014 and 2016 – will lead for them for a third time before stepping aside.

“The T20 World Cup is in Australia and that’s not too far away, so hopefully we’ll be back for that and that will probably be my last international tour I would think,” du Plessis said in Brisbane ahead of South Africa’s one-off T20 clash against Australia on Saturday.

Du Plessis added that the nature of the T20 format is such that keeps bringing in fresh talent and offer them opportunities but at the same time, the frequent introduction of young talent prevents a team form playing their best outfits. Comparing the scenario with football, du Plessis pointed out in cricket, a country is always a priority over club.

“From our perspective, T20 cricket for us over the last two or three years has been a case of bringing in the young guys, giving them an opportunity, so we never really play our strongest XI, which isn’t great for the international game,” he said “Football (has) a situation where it’s playing for your clubs and then there’s an international tournament. In my opinion that’s a good place for T20 cricket to be in, because you shouldn’t be trying to compete with the leagues because they are so strong at the moment.

“And I can see the same with other teams – it’s almost never their strongest teams, and fans come to watch the best players play. That’s where I see the game moving forward, but the T20 World Cup in 2020 is something I’m really looking forward to… that will probably be the last tournament for me.”

Shifting focus to what lies on store on Sunday, South Africa would like to build on their historic ODI series win by taking away the honours in the one-off T20I. The skipper believes playing against Australia over the years has always brought the best out of him, not just as a batsman, but also in his role as a leader.

“It’s always a very, very competitive game and I think in general that brings the best out of me as a person, when there’s a tough moment in the game, or there’s a lot happening off the field, or the hardness of the challenge, as a character that brings the best out of me as a cricketer,” said du Plessis.

“I really love playing against Australia. It’s a hard place to come and travel – when you come here, people don’t always expect you to beat Australia, so that once again brings the best out of me as a captain out of me as well.”