Rickelton to lean on Amla’s expertise, eager to mould into T20 player | Sport


Ryan Rickelton

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  • MI Cape Town batter Ryan Rickelton is hoping to assert himself as a T20 player following his performance in the SA20 opener.
  • Rickelton scored 42 as MI Cape Town beat the Paarl Royals at a sold-out Newlands on Tuesday.
  • Rickelton hailed former Proteas legend Hashim Amla’s calming presence in the MI Cape Town dressing room.

MI Cape Town batter Ryan Rickelton hopes to mould himself more into a T20 player in the ongoing SA20 tournament.

After being snubbed by the Proteas due to an “ankle injury” for their tour Down Under, Rickelton continued to prove the national selectors wrong as he performed for his domestic franchise in last season’s One Day Cup.

The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batter has been in fine form for the Lions. He ended as the highest run-scorer in the One Day Cup, scoring 452 runs in seven games at an average of 64.57.

Rickelton, who has only played three Tests for the Proteas thus far, scored 75 in the One Day Cup final as the Lions sealed the title against Western Province.

In Tuesday’s SA20 opening encounter at a sold-out Newlands, Rickelton helped steer his new franchise, MI Cape Town, to an eight-wicket victory against the Paarl Royals.

He shared a 90-run opening partnership with teenage star Dewald Brevis (70*) as MI Cape Town chased down 143 under lights in Cape Town.

Rickelton went on to score 42 off 33 balls (hitting five fours and a six) before he was bowled by Ramon Simmonds of the West Indies.

READ | Rickelton hails capacity Newlands crowd, clean-hitting Brevis: ‘A league we cherish’

Rickelton told reporters he is eager to prove himself in the shorter format of the game as he looks to continue his form this season.

“I’ve had a nice two months and I did have about a 10-day break off in December after the One Day Cup final,” Rickelton told reporters on Wednesday.

“T20 is a bit different, I know I’m hitting the ball nicely, it’s just about trying to mould some plans. I haven’t had the best time in T20 cricket in the last year or two, so the opportunity to try and formulate some plans with Simon Katich and Hash (Amla) has really been helpful.

“It’s just trying to make sure I can continue this period for the rest of the summer, ideally.”

MI Cape Town boasts a star-studded management staff this season with former Australia batter Simon Katich (head coach), former Proteas batter Hashim Amla (batting coach), former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene (head of performance), former Indian bowler Zaheer Khan (Director of Cricket) and current Warriors coach Robin Peterson (General Manager) imparting their knowledge.

Rickelton hailed the calming influence of Amla in the MI Cape Town dressing room as he hopes to learn from the Proteas legend.

“It’s been unbelievable, I actually forgot that he still plays cricket, to be honest – he played for Surrey last year,” said Rickelton.

“He’s quite a simple coach. A nice part of having someone that’s actually still playing, he formulates, which he can see blends to a certain kind of player.

“I’ll probably play more along his lines than the guy like Dewald does, so he and I are quite close with regards to trying to formulate a few plans.

“And it helps having played for the Cobras (now Western Province) here and across South Africa, he has a really good understanding and we’ve worked out something for me. 

“As I said, he’s just a phenomenal player, so anything I can gain from him is always going to help.”

MI Cape Town next face Durban’s Super Giants at Newlands on Friday.

Play starts at 17:30.

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