South African and now Netherlands all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe
- Netherlands all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe is back in his home country for the inaugural SA20.
- Van der Merwe will play for the Sunrisers Eastern Cape along with several T20 World Cup players like Aiden Markram, Tristan Stubbs and Marco Jansen.
- Last year, the Netherlands handed 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’ll be unsafe to bring up Netherlands’ historic T20 World Cup win against South Africa in Adelaide last year.
Needing a win against the minnow team to reach the semi-finals, the Proteas’ batting line-up came 13 runs short.
Van der Merwe was part of the Netherlands’ eleven, taking a spectacular catch to dismiss the in-form David Miller and dashing the Proteas’ hopes of chasing a modest 159.
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It was the Netherlands’ first-ever T20 win against South Africa and it resulted in the Proteas’ 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 homeland after he was bought for R175k by the Sunrisers Eastern Cape for the inaugural SA20.
The six co-owned Indian Premier League (IPL) teams have assembled and have 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 won’t bring up Netherlands’ World Cup triumph.
“Obviously, the Netherlands and Proteas game is a bit under wraps at the moment, there’s not much chat about it. I mean, it was a tough game for them,” Van der Merwe told reporters on Thursday.
“You know, obviously essentially knocking them out the World Cup, so it’s not something you just talk about at the breakfast table.”
Van der Merwe, who played for several years for the Titans before immigrating to the Netherlands, is an experienced T20 campaigner having played in the IPL, Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League and the Hundred.
The Sunrisers Eastern Cape get their SA20 campaign under way against the Pretoria Capitals next Thursday in Gqeberha.
Van der Merwe admits that the relatively slow St George’s Park wicket will suit his spinning style but says it’s just about adapting to whatever conditions.
“I love coming out here in the past, it’s always been spin-friendly, but whether you’re playing in Joburg and Pretoria or wherever it might be,” said Van der Merwe.
“I think you get so used to in adapting to different grounds and different areas around the world so it’s I think it’s part of the game these days. You’ve just got to give the best that you can for whatever team you play for and the guys you play with. I think that it’s important that you give everything for the group at that stage.”
Play on Thursday starts at 17:30.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape squad:
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