Faf du Plessis has spoken out about being left out of the South African T20 World Cup squad. Despite being in phenomenal form in the lead-up to the competition, including a 633-run IPL 2021 with season champions Chennai Super Kings, the 37-year-old was left out of the national team for the multi-team event in the United Arab Emirates. Du Plessis, who is presently playing in the Abu Dhabi T10 League for the Bengal Tigers, stated that he wanted to play for the Proteas in the short-format World Cup, prompting him to declare his retirement from Test cricket. He claimed that the players had “unrealistic expectations” from CSA.

“I’m on a different path now. When I played for South Africa in the series against England last year, the goal was still to play in the World Cup. And the discussions had been leading up to that. But it was tough for Cricket South Africa and myself at the time to find something that would allow me to continue playing overseas,” du Plessis told ESPNcricinfo.

“I retired from Test cricket because of that. They tried, but we couldn’t find a happy medium, and I believe they wanted someone who was always available. That made it difficult for men like myself and Imran Tahir, who were also competing abroad [franchise leagues]. I think that’s the challenge now,” he continued, “since we’re playing overseas, and if they don’t want us to play all of the games, it’s definitely an unrealistic expectation.”

Age is irrelevant to me: Faf du Plessis is a character in the film Faf du Plessis Du Plessis, who is as fit as ever, claimed his age does not worry him and that he is still “extremely motivated” to play the game.

“Physically, I still feel like I’m in pretty fantastic shape to play for however long I want to play for, so I’m happy that I can do that,” he said. “Age doesn’t really matter to me, it may to someone else. For me, the mental freshness and motivation are the two biggest hurdles. And I’m still firing on all cylinders.”

Meanwhile, with the next T20 World Cup less than a year away, head coach Mark Boucher has claimed that every player is in a strong position to make the team. “I don’t believe anyone’s door is closed to them. The Faf discussion took place, but due to schedule conflicts and other factors, it was unable to take place. I understand from his standpoint with family, it’s been very difficult throughout Covid times and bubble life,” he told iol.co.za.