Van der Dussen goes to bat for all South Africans

Rassie van der Dussen.
Rassie van der Dussen.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

What with xenophobic and gender violence hitting the headlines hard in recent weeks‚ South Africans might welcome something else to think about.

Not to take our eye off the ball — there’s no resolving those crippling issues if we ignore them‚ which would be a dereliction of our patriotic duty — but to find allies to help us fix what has gone so badly wrong.

Maybe that was what Rassie van der Dussen was trying to smuggle between the lines of what he said in Dharamshala on Wednesday: “You’re playing for a cause bigger than yourself and bigger than the team.

“We know we can influence things that are happening back home and give people a positive outlook on the team and the country.”

Van der Dussen is part of the South Africa men’s squad who will start a three-match T20 series against India on Sunday.

As one of the few players who emerged from this year’s World Cup with credit — he scored three-half centuries in six innings for a side that lost five of their eight completed games — it was good idea to wheel him out for a media session.

“The last time we were together was at the World Cup‚ which was a disappointing showing and everybody knew it‚” Van der Dussen said.

“But it’s a fresh start with a new coaching team.”

Enoch Nkwe leads that team‚ and Quinton de Kock will captain the side in the T20s.

“Quinton is one of those guys who leads by example‚” Van der Dussen said.

“He doesn’t always say a lot but when he speaks he says really valuable things.

“We know what he is as a player and how many games he has won for South Africa.”

And now is a better time than any to show South Africans of all stripes that actions speak louder — and are more important — than words.