Jean-Paul Duminy looked emotional as he walked into the mixed media zone, a while after South Africa’s win against Australia on Saturday. It had been, after all, the last international assignment for the 35-year-old.
After donning the Proteas cap for 15 long years, it was time for the all-rounder to look beyond the game, although he will continue to feature in franchise-based T20 leagues and local cricket. “It is fitting to say that it was my last international game completely. I have been considering and toeing around it for last couple of months and I have made the decision that it will be the last game. There is a big relief and appreciation for amazing 15 years of international cricket,” Duminy said at the Old Trafford.
“Absolutely blessed to have played with so many great cricketers, especially in the last 15 years. It’s time for me to get on the couch and talk s*** about them,” the cricketer, who played in 199 ODIs, 46 Tests and 81 T20s, joked.
After bagging a 10-run victory against Australia in the last group-league match, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis revealed that post-retirement, Duminy will be best suited for a mentor role.
Duminy himself, however, is not too convinced. “I haven’t thought that far yet. I will of course be playing cricket for at least the next season and then kind of see what’s next. I have got a huge passion for the culture of teams and businesses. That’s something I am possibly considering getting into. Who knows I may end up coming back here in a different platform,” Duminy said.
With Duminy and Imran Tahir calling it a day, the national team is set to go through a transition period. But Duminy is hopeful that things will slowly fall in place. “It might be a bit of a transition period and there might be speed bumps in the way. That’s sort of inevitable. I guess the crop of players that are coming is definitely has the capability to have a sustainable career. You need good players around to help you on that journey,” he said.
While he has been a game-changer for South Africa, Duminy wants to be remembered as a ‘team-man.’
“Whatever the team required was my mindset. Of course, personal accolades are great. Whatever the team needed at given point of time was my main focus. My team-mates saw that and that’s what I will be remembered for. The numbers I have produced are not going to go up against some of the best and that’s okay with me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time. Ten years later, it’s not the numbers that you would want to be remembered for, but it’s about the person,” Duminy said, making it clear that it was a difficult decision to hang up his boots.
“But I had good discussions with people close to me,” the seasoned campaigner said.
Every cricketer dreams of reaching milestones, but Duminy walked into sunset with 199 ODI appearances, with “absolutely no regrets.”