Proteas skipper signals 2020 WT20, to be held in Australia, will be his swansong
Du Plessis reveals T20I farewell plan
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has said the 2020 ICC World T20 in Australia will draw the curtain on his international T20 career.
Speaking ahead of the Proteas' one-off T20I against Australia on the Gold Coast on Saturday night, du Plessis said the Twenty20 showpiece event to be staged in October 2020, by which time he'll be 36, would more than likely bring an end to an illustrious T20 career at the top level.
"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 today.
Du Plessis said the strength of the domestic T20 leagues around the world made it difficult for national sides to consistently – if ever – field their strongest sides outside the World T20 tournament, suggesting it is an issue that needs to be looked at by the game's governing body.
"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."
Du Plessis has spent more than seven years building an impressive record across all three formats, but he will likely be remembered for his incredible introduction to Test cricket as much as anything he has achieved since.
It came in the second Test of the 2012-13 series against Australia in Adelaide, when the right-hander gamely stood unbeaten for more than a day to salvage a draw for the tourists, who went on to win the series one-nil.
Since, he has plundered a further six hundreds against the Australians in all formats, making up more than a third of his 19 international hundreds, making the country a perhaps fitting location for his international swansong.
"I don't know if (Adelaide) was a big part in that, but certainly what I've found out about myself is I enjoy the challenge of playing against the Australian team," he said.
"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.
"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."
Gillette T20s v South Africa and India
Gillette T20s v South Africa
November 17: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast
Gillette T20s v India
November 21: The Gabba
November 23: MCG
November 25: SCG
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
South Africa T20 squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.
India T20 squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed.