Saturday, 1 April, 2023

Pretorius turns global following retirement

Pretorius turns global following retirement
Fortune Barishal’s South African bowling all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius plays a shot during a Bangladesh Premier League 2023 match against Khulna Tigers in Miprur on Friday. —COURTESY PHOTO

South African bowling all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius didn’t take long to get adjusted to the weather and conditions in Bangladesh as he smashed a brilliant knock during his first outing for Fortune Barishal in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League 2023.

Pretorius, who turned out to be a free agent following his retirement from international cricket on January 9 this year to focus on shorter format cricket, had a long session at the nets at the BCB Academy premises just to get knowledge about the wicket and conditions ahead of their last league game against Khulna Tigers on Friday.

Being a South African, he expected to face a low and slow wicket in this part of the continent and to his utter surprise, it was totally a different wicket as the ball was coming to the bat smoothly at the nets.

He was even more surprised seeing a similar kind of wicket at the SBNS where Rangpur Riders were playing against Comilla Victorians in the first game of the day. 

“It was a nice wicket (at the BCB Academy nets),” Pretorius told The Daily Sun after his net session on Friday.

“I didn’t think it’s going to play that nice (at the SBNS) and I didn’t expect it (considering I was expecting a low and slow wicket),” he said.

The net session did a world of good for Pretorius as he made his presence felt with a blistering 29-ball 48 against Khulna that included two fours and four sixes with a strike rate of 165.52.

However, his valiant effort went in vain as Khulna won the game in the last over but his performance certainly helped his teammates understand his value if not anything else.

Playing franchise-based cricket all around the world helped the South African understand his role in the Barishal camp in the blink of an eye and he looked to be a solid replacement for Iftikhar Ahmed, who had played a crucial role behind Barishal’s qualification in the last four.

Barishal will hope that Pretorius shines in their crucial eliminator match against Rangpur Riders at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today considering it’s a do-or-die affair for both teams.

The arrival of Pretorius also indicates that it’s a new beginning for him following his retirement as he wants to focus totally on franchise-based T20 cricket. The South African came to BPL from SA T20 after his team Durban Super Giants failed to qualify for the playoffs.

He will play for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League while he is expected to join Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

Apart from that, he played for Saint Kitts and Nevis in Caribbean Premier League while in the Hundred, he represented Welsh Fire.

Those days are in the past when a BPL team could have the luxury of having their foreign recruits for the whole season. Nowadays, overseas cricketers come in for a couple of matches and leave for their next destination.

Pretorius said that he is enjoying his time as a free agent as it gives him the freedom to roam in different parts of the globe as well as play for different teams in different leagues.

“I enjoy travelling a bit and seeing the world and having some fun as well as playing cricket. So it’s going to be nice and busy,” he said.