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Multiply Titans and former Assupol TuksCricket wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen has been called up to the Proteas test squad for the three-match test series against New Zealand, which gets underway in a few days. The call-up comes after an impressive domestic season that saw him finish seventh on the run-scoring charts in the Sunfoil series with 635 runs at an average of 48.84, including a season-best high score of 195 against the Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg.
Klaasen has built a successful domestic career with 3 140 runs and an overall average of 49.06. He has become a mainstay in the Multiply Titans set up and a key link in their batting line-up. He has received praise from the likes of the Powerade National Academy coach, Shukri Conrad, who said that the young wicket-keeper batsman could develop into “South Africa’s very own M.S Dhoni”. Former Head of the Assupol TuksCricket programme, Pierre de Bruyn, compared Klaasen to Adam Gilchrist with the bat and praised his keeping skills saying that “he has great hands and reach”.
Klaasen said that he’s been working towards this call up his whole career and it means a lot to him: “It’s something you dream of as a young player and to be able to get that call is unbelievable”. Klaasen came into light when Proteas backup wicket-keeper, Dane Vilas, signed a Kolpack deal with English county side Lancashire. Klaasen has stiff competition for the top spot of South Africa’s first choice wicket-keeper with Quinton de Kock in the mix. However, he seems content with his position in the team at the moment: “I am the next keeper in line so it is a big step forward in my career”.
De Bruyn congratulated Klaasen on his call up: “I know how much this means to him but I know how hard he worked [over] the last 6 years”. De Bruyn continued praising Klaasen, saying that he is one of the top three wicketkeepers he has come across in his career: “He knows the game and has a good cricket brain, reading situations very well on the field”. De Bruyn also said that Klaasen will have a “successful international career in white and red ball [cricket]”. He also called the move by the national selectors to call up Klaasen “proactive”.
Other inclusions in the squad include pacer Morné Morkel and all-rounder Theunis de Bruyn.