Rickelton leans on Amla’s expertise, eager to mold himself into a T20 player | Sport

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Ryan Rickelton

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  • MI Cape Town batsman Ryan Rickelton hopes to assert himself as a T20 player after his performance in the SA20 opener.
  • Rickelton scored 42 as MI Cape Town beat the Paarl Royals in a sold-out Newlands on Tuesday.
  • Rickelton praised the calming effect of former Proteas legend Hashim Amla presence in the dressing room of MI Cape Town.

MI Cape Town batsman Ryan Rickelton hopes to mold himself more into a T20 player in the ongoing SA20 tournament.

After being rejected by the Proteas due to an “ankle injury” for their tour Down Under, Rickelton continued to prove the national selectors wrong when he appeared for his domestic franchise in last season’s One Day Cup.

The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batter is in fine form for the Lions. He finished as the highest points scorer in the One Day Cup, scoring 452 points in seven games at an average of 64.57.

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Rickelton, who has played just three Tests for the Proteas to date, scored 75 in the One Day Cup final as the Lions sealed the title against Western Province.

In Tuesday’s SA20 opening encounter in a sold-out Newlands, Rickelton helped steer his new franchise, MI Cape Town, to an eight-wicket win against the Paarl Royals.

He shared a 90-run opening partnership with teen star Dewald Brevis (70*) as MI chased Cape Town 143 under lights in Cape Town.

Rickelton then scored 42 off 33 balls (hit five fours and a six) before being bowled by West Indies Ramon Simmonds.

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Rickelton told reporters he is keen to prove himself in the shorter format of the game as he looks to continue his form this season.

“I’ve had a fun two months and I took about ten days off in December after the One Day Cup final,” Rickelton told reporters on Wednesday.

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“T20 is a bit different, I know I hit the ball well, it’s about trying to make some plans. I haven’t had the best time in T20 cricket for the last two years, so the chance to try and Formulating some plans with Simon Katich and Hash (Amla) really helped.

“It’s just trying to make sure I can ideally continue this period for the rest of the summer.”

MI Cape Town has a star-studded management staff this season that includes former Australian batsman Simon Katich (head coach), former Proteas batsman Hashim Amla (batting coach), former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene (head of performance), former Indian bowler Zaheer Khan (Director of Cricket) and current Warriors coach Robin Peterson (General Manager) sharing their knowledge.

Rickelton praised Amla’s calming influence in the MI Cape Town dressing room, where he hopes to learn from the Proteas legend.

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“It was incredible, I actually forgot he’s still playing cricket, to be honest – he played for Surrey last year,” said Rickelton.

“He is a fairly simple coach. A nice aspect of having someone who is actually still playing, he formulates, who he can see fit a certain kind of player.

“I’ll probably play in his line more than a guy like Dewald, so he and I are pretty close when it comes to formulating some plans.

“And it helps to have played for the Cobras (now Western Province) here and all over South Africa, he has a really good rapport and we worked something out for me.

“Like I said, he’s just a phenomenal player, so anything I can gain from him will always help.”

MI Cape Town will face Durban’s Super Giants at Newlands on Friday.

The game starts at 5:30 PM.