South African cricketer wants to help Islamabad United lift trophy

Islamabad Uniteds team member and South African batter Rassie van der Dussen while speaking to the Geo News. — By the author
Islamabad United’s team member and South African batter Rassie van der Dussen while speaking to the Geo News. — By the author

KARACHI: Islamabad United and South African player Rassie van der Dussen feels that Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) eighth edition will be a challenge for batters.

Talking to Geo News on the sidelines of Islamabad United’s practice session ahead of their clash against Karachi Kings, the South African batter said that he would like to be a part of a winning squad rather than focus on personal milestones.

Rassie, who was drafted in previous editions of PSL but couldn’t play for to several reasons, said that he is glad to finally play in the tournament.

“I’ve been picked before but unfortunately, I couldn’t make it. So, it’s good to be finally here, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of playing in Pakistan. I’ve been here for a Test series before. I love the country the people have always been welcoming.”

Last time it was during a COVID bubble. So now it’s better to actually interact with people and see everyone, he said.

The South African batter said that Islamabad has a strong team and hoped to contribute in making it a successful campaign for his team.

“I will try to fit into that mould as you say Islamabad has always played expansive aggressive cricket, so, I want to be part of it. I want to be consistent for the team and I suppose at the end of the day you know personal goals don’t mean too much. I want to just be part of a winning team,” he said.

“If I can contribute especially as a top order batter and take that responsibility and contribute to the team and have a good tournament for myself, I’m sure the team will benefit from that,” said Rassie.

Replying to a question, he said that conditions are always a big thing when a player goes to any league.

“Having said that I’ve played Test cricket here before, it’s a different format, of course, but from the conditions, I did definitely pick up a few things. And hopefully, I can apply that,” he said.

The South African cricketer added that all the teams in PSL 2023 look strong and all the teams have a very good bowling attack which will be a challenge for the batters.

Rassie said that he has always followed the PSL and other players have told him about the high of standards in the tournament.

“All the guys, especially the international guys, that I speak to they say the standard of cricket is up there with the very best. All the teams have got guys bowling at 140 plus, and world-class spinners and world-class batters as well,” he said.

“It’s tough for me to say which team is stronger and which is not so strong. All the teams seem to have all the bases covered. I think it’s going to be a really strong tournament and having looked at the first two games, one was won by one run and one by two runs. I think that’s going to be the nature of this tournament is going to be very tight,” the South African who has played 18 Tests, 41 ODIs and 41 T20Is said.

Replying to a question, Rassie said that the Champions League was a good tournament where the champions team from each league used to participate. He hoped that a similar tournament could be seen in the near future.

He also agreed that a fixed window for league and international cricket can be a good idea, but added that this looks difficult.

“If you look at how football is being played these days, it’s more your club than your country, there are certain windows for international soccer or football. But I think it is difficult,” he said.

“But at the same time, a lot of cricket means a lot of opportunities for different players and for the world to see different skills and different talents and which is also a good thing. The international game obviously takes preference, everyone wants to play for the country but there’s going to have to be some balance in terms of the leagues and international cricket going together,” the South African batter concluded.

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