Faf du Plessis scored over 1100 runs in last 26 ODIs, with the help of three hundreds and six half-centuries. In the longest format of the game, he scored one hundred and two fifties in four Tests. @AFP

While South Africa had a disappointing run at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as they finished seventh in the ten-team event held in England and Wales, Faf du Plessis hoped that there are good things ahead for the team and himself.

The South African skipper completed a hat-trick of Cricket South Africa (CSA) awards, including the ‘Players’ Player of the Year’ award in addition to South African Cricketer of the Year and Standard Bank ODI Cricketer of the Year.

“Getting the recognition of my peers is really special. I’ve been to the awards a few times now, been nominated in a few categories and won a few trophies here and there, but never have I won the Players’ Player of the Year and that in itself, especially as a captain, makes it even more special for me,” du Plessis was quoted as saying by Cricket South Africa..

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“Obviously the players recognise your performance, but as a leader that makes me extremely proud of that trophy. I’ve always strived for greatness more as a leader rather than as a player,” added du Plessis.

The 35-year-old, who was recently confirmed to lead South Africa in Test cricket, enjoyed a fine run of form as a batsman. He scored over 1100 runs in last 26 ODIs, with the help of three hundreds and six half-centuries. In the longest format of the game, he scored one hundred and two fifties in four Tests.

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du Plessis admitted that as a youngster he never thought he would win Players’ Player award. “To be honest, when I was a bit younger, I never really thought it would be me standing there winning the Players’ Player award.”

“As I said, I’ve always seen myself as being the leader and stuff like that playing more of an important role compared to actually being a great player, so I’m extremely happy. The last two or three years there’s been a good consistency about my game and I’m really happy to get some recognition for it,” he added.

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He then said that being away from the game after the World Cup 2019 has been refreshing and he is looking forward to continue playing for South Africa.

“It’s been a nice break to get away from the game a little bit,” Playing for the Proteas, even though it was disappointing how I felt after the World Cup, the specialness of playing for this team is still there. And I do feel there’s a huge drive from me still to play for this team,” said du Plessis.

“Hopefully there’s some really good things ahead for this team and for me with the team as well,” concluded du Plessis.