Johan Botha: The former South African captain will once again take the field for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.
Former South Africa captain Johan Botha is all set to come out of retirement and represent Hobart Hurricanes in the upcoming 10th season of the Big Bash League.
Botha, 38, had last played international cricket during the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka. Having made his BBL debut for Adelaide Strikers in 2011, Botha had spent four years at the club before spending another four at Sydney Sixers.
It was for his last BBL season that Botha had represented Hurricanes before ending his BBL career with his 39 wickets in 65 T20s coming at an average of 38.10, an economy rate of 7.14 and a strike rate of 32.03.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Botha revealed how a stroll in the park alongside Tasmania assistant coach Ben Rohrer ignited the idea of a T20 comeback. The idea further reached fruition when Botha spoke to Hurricanes head coach Adam Griffith.
“I had to get in a groove somehow, so those last few weeks [of the Shield hub], I upped it a little bit. I started bowling a bit more because it started to look like I might get an opportunity.
“In the previous two years, I would bowl in the nets, but it was basically just to give the other guys practice. I didn’t really worry too much about how they were coming out or if I was very consistent. But for those three or four weeks, I upped the intensity to see if I could still compete with the good players,” Botha was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Johan Botha to represent Hobart Hurricanes in Big Bash League 10
Botha, whose last competitive match had happened almost a couple of years ago, is unperturbed about any fitness-related concern ahead of BBL 10. Having transformed into an able long-distance runner, the Australian citizen is confident about staying agile on a cricket field for a three-hour T20 match.
“The last time I was at the [Hobart] Hurricanes, I had a couple of niggles and I needed cortisone injections into my back to get through the tournament. But this time I feel as good as ever. I’ve had a good year of training and running and even some time on the bike. My body feels really good, so now it’s just getting it to that match intensity.
“Obviously Twenty20 cricket is fast paced and you’ve got to move well, but fitness wise, three hours is nothing. I go on three-hour training runs, so I’ve basically run for a whole T20 game.
“I know I can do that, it’s just about the movement in the field and catching balls again when for the last two years it’s been all catching with a baseball mitt,” Botha added.