Dwaine Pretorius retires from internationals to focus on T20s
"Being a free agent will help me achieve the goal of being the best short format player I can be," he says
South Africa allrounder Dwaine Pretorius has retired from international cricket with immediate effect. "I am shifting my focus to T20 and other shorter formats for the rest of my career," he said.
Pretorius played 30 T20Is, 27 ODIs and three Tests and took 77 wickets across formats. He also featured in two World Cups and holds the record for the best bowling figures for South Africa in T20Is (5 for 17 against Pakistan). He ends with a T20I batting strike rate of 164 and is one of 16 players to have a national CSA contract for 2022-23 that runs till March.
"Being a free agent will help me achieve the goal of being the best short format player I can be," his statement from CSA read. "By doing this, I will be able to have a better balance in my career and family life."
He is currently much sought after in franchise leagues with gigs in the IPL (Chennai Super Kings), the Hundred (Welsh Fire), the CPL and with Durban Super Giants in the SA20 where he was picked up for Rand 4.1 million (USD 240,000 approx.).
Pretorius was South Africa's first-choice allrounder leading up to the T20 World Cup in 2022 but fractured his thumb before the tournament. He has since lost some ground to Marco Jansen for that role in the white-ball set-up. At the 2021 T20 World Cup, he shone as a death-overs specialist and finished the tournament with nine wickets overall and the best strike rate of 9.7 (minimum five overs).
CSA director of cricket Enoch Nkwe said that Pretorius' quality will "no doubt" be missed. "He has always represented the badge with the utmost pride, determination and commitment, leaving everything on the field every time he pulled on the Proteas shirt," he said. "His all-round ability added to his value as a player and his quality will no doubt be missed."
Pretorius made his mark as a late-blooming allrounder and swapped pace for precision early on due to knee injuries. He made his South Africa debut in an ODI against Ireland in 2016 and got his first fifty in his second innings. But by 2019, he had almost given up on internationals and was set to take a Kolpak deal with Nottinghamshire. However, a change in CSA administration and the introduction of Graeme Smith as director of cricket convinced Pretorius to take a national contract and he made his Test debut later in 2019.
"A special mention goes to Faf Du Plessis, who brought me back after being let go from the international side the first time and who backed me and helped me become a better player; thank you," he said. Pretorius also thanked Hardus Viljoen, Chris Morris, Nicky van den Bergh, Rassie van Der Dussen, Stephen Cook, Tabraiz Shamsi, Anrich Nortje, Neil McKenzie and his coaches across the ranks.
"Growing up, my only goal in life was to play for the Proteas," he said. "I didn't know how it was going to happen, but God gave me talent and a serious will to succeed. The rest was in his hands.
"I leave the Proteas team knowing that every time I stepped onto the field, I gave everything I had in me. From playing with broken toes, fingers and torn muscles, to carrying drinks, team meetings and helping other players wherever I could. It has been a blast. Thank you to all the fans for your support and love - you made it extra special."
For the next eight months, at the very least, Pretorius is expected to have a busy cricket calendar. SA20 start on Tuesday and runs till February 11, the IPL is set to run from March-end May-end or early June and then the Hundred begins in August. South Africa, meanwhile, host England, West Indies, Netherlands and Australia before the ODI World Cup in October.