Cricket 17.5.2017 01:12 pm

How the Proteas will deal with their baby boom

AB de Villiers will have his family with him for the first two weeks of the tour to England. Photo: IPLT20

AB de Villiers will have his family with him for the first two weeks of the tour to England. Photo: IPLT20

Priorities are rapidly changing within the national setup as senior members start families but there’s a plan to balance responsibilities.

The Proteas aren’t going to let a baby boom among various senior members of the squad distract them during the ICC Champions Trophy and the tour of England.

In fact, they’re embracing it.

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Team manager and doctor, Mohammed Moosajee, mentioned pertinently that a big focus on the trip will be “keeping things fresh” and “family time”.

“A tour of 12 weeks is unprecedented for us,” he said.

“We haven’t been on a tour that long. There are plans in place, especially for the players that play in all three formats. We’re trying to be creative and flexible. The guys might even come back home for a week if time allows for it.”

Such arrangements are especially relevant for Test skipper Faf du Plessis.

Him and his wife, Imari, are expecting their first child to be born close to the first Test against the English at Lord’s on July 6.

“It’s a tough situation,” said Du Plessis.

“I would like to be there for the birth of my first child so hopefully the timing works well on this tour.”

AB de Villiers, South Africa’s one-day skipper, has similar considerations as a second child is also on its way.

“Family comes first. It always has,” he said.

“At least my family (wife Danielle and first-born Abraham) will be with me for the first two weeks. After that, I’m in the groove and a difficult goodbye might be a bit easier.”

Team management and the players actually resolved that no family members will be on tour during the Champions Trophy, which runs from 1 to 18 June.

“I think it’s a really good move,” said De Villiers.

“It’s a short tournament. You only play five games if you make it to the final. It means the focus will be all about the team and how we’re going to win the trophy.”

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