An all-in Quinton de Kock a match-winner for Proteas at T20 World Cup, says Ashwell Prince

Proteas batsman Quinton de Kock hits out during during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in India. Picture: Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

Proteas batsman Quinton de Kock hits out during during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in India. Picture: Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

Published May 7, 2024


Quinton de Kock’s One-Day International career didn’t have the fairytale ending all South Africans wanted when the Proteas were knocked out of the 2023 ICC World Cup in the semi-finals.

But De Kock certainly tried his best to write his own story, enjoying his best outing at any World Cup for the Proteas with magnificent performances with the bat. It looked he was desperate to finish his ODI career with an ICC trophy that.

The wicket-keeper scored 594 runs with the bat in 11 matches, scoring four centuries and ending the tournament with an average of 59.40. In the previous two World Cups in 2015 and 2019 he scored a combined total of 440 runs.

Over the last few years De Kock has moved further and further away from the national team, first retiring from Test cricket before announcing that the 2023 World Cup will be his last outing in ODI cricket.

De Kock was picked for the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and United States despite not enjoying the greatest SA20 League on home soil, while his form in the ongoing Indian Premier League has been patchy at best.

Former Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince says De Kock was definitely picked on the basis of his form at the World Cup, especially with players such as Matthew Breetzke and Rassie van der Dussen missing out on selection.

However, Prince says he hopes the De Kock who obliterated attacks in India at the 50-over World Cup can do the same when the T20 showpiece starts in June. An invested Quinton de Kock is a dangerous Quinton de Kock.

“Quinton is key in more than one way. A guy like Quinny, let’s be honest, his selection is based on the 50-over World Cup performances,” said Prince.

“He wasn’t great in the SA20 and his IPL at the moment is okay, but not at the level where we can say that is the Quinny that we know.

“But it was a risk for Rob Walter to leave it him home, because we know his quality. The World Cup is a stage where we know he can turn up and bring experience and his explosive hitting at the top of the order.

“From Quinny’s point of view, you want him to pitch up in the right frame of mind. Maybe with the T20 World Cup, like the 50-over World Cup, he will realise this could be my last opportunity to pitch up on the big stage. ‘Let me go out with a bang, and show the people what I’m here for’.”

Ryan Rickelton, who got the nod ahead of Breetzke and Van der Dussen, had an excellent T20 summer and scored bucket loads of runs for MI Cape Town in the SA20.

Prince feels his inclusion in the team will also provide De Kock with competition that could fire him up even more. Rickelton is also an explosive left-hander at the top of the order and another wicket-keeper in the team.

“Quinny has got competition in the team, because Rickelton showed in the SA20 that he is an explosive player to the top of the order. Klaasen can also take the gloves,” Prince said.

“Quinny has got to give Rob and the management the feeling that he means business.

“The guy is at the back end of his career. He stopped his Test career and 50-over career to spend time with his family and do things that make him happy ... like fishing. So, he already has one foot out of the international door by choice.

“But he has to get to show Rob and the management team that he is fully invested ... with both feet in.”