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Maharaj dreams of being a World Cup-winning captain for South Africa some day

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

South Africa left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has said that he would like to become South Africa captain, as the Cricket South Africa board hunts for a new skipper, following Faf du Plessis’ resignation from the post in February.

Quinton de Kock has already been named du Plessis’s successor in white-ball cricket, but South Africa are yet to name one in the longer format, and Maharaj said he would like to be considered for the role as it’s been a lifelong dream of his to captain his country in all three formats.

“I really want to captain the Proteas. It’s been my dream,” Maharaj said. “Not many people know that, but those close to me know that I do want to captain the South African team across all three formats. And I want to raise the World Cup trophy in my hand as the leader of the side.

“Apart from wanting to play for the Proteas as a childhood dream, captaining the team to a World Cup-winning campaign would be everything I have ever dreamed of and my life would be fulfilled from a cricketing perspective.”

Should he indeed be named captain, Maharaj would make for a highly left-field choice, as his name hasn’t been among the frontrunners for the post. Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, and Dean Elgar are the primary candidates for the captaincy.

Moreover, Maharaj, who wants to fulfill his dream of leading his country in all three formats, is still uncapped in T20 internationals. He acknowledged that he will have to live up the longtime perceptions of his all-round ability and score some big runs in the longer formats – something he showed a glimpse of when he made a half-century in Pune, during last year’s tour of India, and against England in Port Elizabeth.

“I do want to break into the T20 format,” Maharaj said, “but I know I have to bide my time in ODI cricket and score some big runs in Test cricket to improve my chances of selection.”

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