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14 Jul 2009 15:43
Swing bowler Charl Langeveldt is delighted to be back in the national fold, a year after his dramatic withdrawal from the Proteas team to tour India last year.
Langeveldt was included in the provisional Proteas squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa later this year, but the 34-year-old knows that he will not just walk back into the final team.
“It’s an exciting challenge,” he told Sapa on Tuesday. “At 34, you think your international career is over, so I am very happy to be back in the squad.
“Mickey Arthur [Proteas coach] told me last year, before the tour to Australia, that I was still in their plans, because there are a lot of tournaments coming up.
“I know I will have to work hard to get back into the actual team, because there are some good young players, but I am not scared of hard work, and I love a challenge.”
Langeveldt withdrew from the team to tour India because he believed he had been selected ahead of the now-retired Andre Nel on the basis of his colour.
He then rejected a Cricket South Africa contract and signed a Kolpak deal with English county Derbyshire.
That contract has ended, and Langeveldt is once again available to play for South Africa.
Langeveldt said he had no regrets about his decision to withdraw from the tour of India.
“It opened up a lot of doors for me.
“Normally, the national players spend very little time with their home franchises, but last summer I was able to work with the bowlers and do some coaching. I really enjoyed that, and I would love to get involved in some coaching when I finally hang up my cricket boots.”
But Langeveldt, who was recently named domestic Standard Bank Pro20 Cricketer of the Year, is not planning on retiring just yet.
“I would love to go to the World Cup next year,” he said. “I still wake up in the morning and am happy at the thought of going to a net practice. When I no longer look forward to net practices, that’s when I’ll know it’s time to retire.”
Langeveldt recently underwent shoulder surgery for an injury sustained during the domestic season last year, but he said his rehabilitation was going well, and he was looking forward to bowling for South Africa again.
One of Langeveldt’s greatest attributes is his skill as a “death bowler”—Proteas captain Graeme Smith has called him one of the best death bowlers around—and Arthur and Smith must be very happy to have him back in their arsenal ahead of the Champions Trophy.—Sapa
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