The Herald (South Africa)

Warriors star Jonker elated over Proteas’ T20 selection

- Ross Roche

WARRIORS and Border star Christiaan Jonker received the biggest boost to his career to date when he was selected by the Proteas squad for their three-match KFC T20 internatio­nal series against India, starting next week.

The big-hitting Jonker has been a key part of the Warriors’ successful limited overs form in the past two seasons, which has seen them reach two finals, a semifinal and pick up the one day cup trophy.

He has made many telling contributi­ons to the side and his selection is just reward.

“You do always think that you may play for your country at some stage if you do well, but I didn’t expect it to happen now all of a sudden,” an elated Jonker said.

“When they phoned me [on Monday] I was very surprised, I think there were a lot of mixed emotions, but at the end of the day it was fantastic news and I am really excited to be in the Proteas T20 squad.”

Jonker was named alongside fellow new caps fast bowler Junior Dala and wicketkeep­er-batsman Heinrich Klaasen, both from the Titans, by Cricket South Africa yesterday.

JP Duminy has been named as captain in the continued absence through injury of Faf du Plessis.

“With the Sunfoil Test Series against Australia starting only five days after the completion of the T20 Series, it is necessary for us to rest some of the players who have featured in virtually all our internatio­nal matches so far this summer,” CSA national selection panel convener Linda Zondi.” said.

“These include Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram among the batsmen as well as most of our frontline fast bowlers. AB de Villiers has missed quite a lot of cricket this summer so he will play in the T20 Series.

“Christiaan Jonker has been one of the most explosive finishers in domestic T20 cricket in recent seasons and his selection, together with that of Junior Dala, gives players who have performed well at franchise level the opportunit­y to show that they can compete at the highest level.”

With a strong squad named nonetheles­s, Jonker will be hoping to get an opportunit­y to showcase his undoubted talent on the internatio­nal stage against the superstars from India.

“I would like to get some game time just to show what kind of player I am on an internatio­nal level,” Jonker said.

“Obviously there are only three matches but at least I am into the setup now, so when I do get my opportunit­y I can grab it with both hands and make sure I use it and hopefully play some match-winning innings for the Proteas.”

Warriors captain Jon-Jon Smuts was also named in the T20 squad and he will be looking to impress after he made his debut for the Proteas against Sri Lanka in January last year and his last T20 against England.

Standard Bank Proteas T20 squad:

JP Duminy (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, capt), Farhaan Behardien (Multiply Titans), Junior Dala (Multiply Titans), AB de Villiers (Multiply Titans), Reeza Hendricks (bizhub Highveld Lions), Christiaan Jonker (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Multiply Titans), David Miller (VKB Knights), Chris Morris (Multiply Titans), Dane Paterson (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Aaron Phangiso (bizhub Highveld Lions), Andile Phehlukway­o (Hollywoodb­ets Dolphins), Tabraiz Shamsi (Multiply Titans), Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors).

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