South African and now Dutch all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe
- Dutch all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe is back in his homeland for the inaugural SA20.
- Van der Merwe will play for the Sunrisers Eastern Cape alongside several T20 World Cup players such as Aiden Markram, Tristan Stubbs and Marco Jansen.
- Last year, the Netherlands gave the Proteas a shocking exit from the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Former Proteas all-rounder and now Dutch cricketer Roelof van der Merwe says it will be unsafe to bring up the Netherlands’ historic T20 World Cup win against South Africa in Adelaide last year.
Needing a win against the minnow team to reach the semifinals, the Proteas’ batting line-up fell short by 13 points.
Van der Merwe was part of the Netherlands eleven and took a spectacular catch to fire the in-form David Miller and undermine the Protea’s hopes of chasing a modest 159.
READ | Aussie beats Proteas in Sydney as ‘other player’ Khawaja takes the lead
It was the Netherlands’ first ever T20 victory against South Africa and resulted in the Protea’s embarrassing exit from the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Van der Merwe, who played 13 T20s and 13 ODIs for the Proteas from 2009 to 2010, is back in his home country after being bought for R175k by the Sunrisers Eastern Cape for the inaugural SA20.
The six co-owned Indian Premier League (IPL) teams have gathered and started their preparations before the tournament kicks off on Tuesday.
Van der Merwe, who shares the Sunrisers dressing room with Aiden Markram, Marco Jansen and Tristan Stubbs, said he will not bring up the Netherlands’ World Cup triumph.
“Obviously the game between the Netherlands and Proteas is kind of hidden at the moment, it’s not talked about much. I mean it was a tough game for them,” Van der Merwe told reporters on Thursday.
“You know, obviously they’re essentially knocking out the World Cup, so it’s not something you just talk about at the breakfast table.”
Van der Merwe, who played for the Titans for several years before emigrating to the Netherlands, is an accomplished T20 campaigner who has played in the IPL, Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League and the Hundred.
The Sunrisers Eastern Cape will start their SA20 campaign against the Pretoria Capitals next Thursday in Gqeberha.
Van der Merwe admits the relatively slow St George’s Park wicket suits his turning style, but says it’s just about adapting to all conditions.
“I’ve loved coming out here in the past, it’s always been spin-friendly, but whether you’re playing in Joburg and Pretoria or wherever,” said Van der Merwe.
“I think you get so used to adapting to different terrains and different areas around the world, so I think it’s part of the game these days. You just have to give the best you can for whatever team you’re playing and the guys you play with. I think it’s important that you give everything for the group at that stage.”
Thursday’s game starts at 5:30 p.m.
The selection of Sunrisers Eastern Cape:
Aiden Markram, Ottneil Baartman, Marco Jansen, Tristan Stubbs, Sisanda Magala, Junaid Dawood, Mason Crane, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jordan Cox, Adam Rossington, Roelof van der Merwe, Marques Ackerman, James Fuller, Brydon Carse, Sarel Erwee, Aya Gqamane, Tom Abell