Impressed with Miller’s involvement in the leadership space: JP Duminy

Former South Africa all-rounder and head coach of SA20 franchise Paarl Royals, JP Duminy, believes that the soon-to-be-inaugurated tournament will have the flavour of a mini-IPL, given that world-class domestic players will play alongside some of the biggest global names.

In an exclusive interview with IANS, the veteran of 46 Tests, 199 ODIs and 81 T20Is, said the latest T20 offering, scheduled from January 10 to February 11 next year, will provide a “unique” experience to all the competitors.

Excerpts:

Q: SA20, it is said, is a mini-IPL because of obvious reasons. What do you think makes the tournament uniquely African?

A: The fact that it’s highlighted in the main cities around South Africa, and when you think about just Paarl Royals in general in the Paarl region, you know, which is renowned for its wineries and the vineyards. So that’s going to be unique. I think the African flavour is obviously in the world-class domestic players that have come into the fold.

I just think about somebody like Tristan Stubbs who’s going for mega, mega money and, you know, hot off the press kind of thing where there’s a lot of talk around him, which will infiltrate various opportunities around the world. I think that makes it uniquely African.

Q: You have picked a lot of English players in the auction. Any particular reason, why?

A: No particular reason! I think it was more just identifying with players that we feel will fit the team dynamic in what we were trying to set up but also understanding the conditions so that we’re going to be playing in Paarl. And trying to set up some good international players with great experience, and then couple that with some good local players and hopefully we’ve put together a good team and a good environment that will be able to compete not only in our home ground but also around the country.

Q: Who will be your captain, what do you look for when picking a captain?

A: So that’s been announced already last month before the auction — David Miller. What I’ve certainly been impressed with is his involvement in the leadership space. So, he’s had opportunities now to captain in the CPL, a few more games for South Africa as well. And I’ve certainly been really impressed in how he’s grown as a person you know, having played with him for many years, and certainly one of my favourite players to have batted with in my career.

I’ve got a great relationship with him. And more importantly, he’s just a good human being and is very caring and wants to give his best to the environment at all times and get the best out of the people around him. I think he’s natural. His natural personality is one where he’s all about rallying people together and making sure everybody’s happy and good in an environment where everyone can flourish. And I think that’s a great starting point for us to find some great success in this tournament.

Q: SA20 apart, how are your coaching and commentary career going?

A: Well, commentary has really been put on the backburner for the time being. So, I’ve taken over as Head Coach at the Paarl Rocks, which is a First Class team in Paarl which I mentioned earlier, and we play in Division One in the domestic structure. And I’ve certainly enjoyed it. It’s been great to test myself as a coach, you know, trying to get the best out of the environment and the players. We are currently in a T20 competition, which has been good.

The guys have produced some great results thus far. We’re not quite the finished article yet, but again, what I’m excited about is the growth that we’re seeing and hopefully, you know, there’ll be some success stories around it. But more importantly, it would be good to have some international players that we are able to produce over the next three to four years. There’s some exciting talent coming up, which I’m excited to work with.

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