Leus du Plooy on why he couldn't say no to Derbyshire and the challenges of playing in England

Leus du Plooy is enjoying playing cricket in England.
Leus du Plooy is enjoying playing cricket in England.

The lure of making a career in the “best league in the world” was too strong to resist for Derbyshire batsman Leus du Plooy.

The 24-year-old became the latest South African to join an English county when he signed a two-year Kolpak deal earlier this season.

Derbyshire followed up on a recommendation from the former South African and Glamorgan batsman Jacques Rudolph and du Plooy made his Specsavers County Championship debut last week after he recovered from a hand injury sustained in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

The left-hander had already shown the quality which made him the leading runscorer in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge with two half-centuries against Leicestershire and Yorkshire before he dislocated a finger attempting a return catch at Chester-le-Street.

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“I dropped a catch which is always tough but it makes it tougher when you get injured as well,” he said.

“The moment I saw my finger at Durham I was completely gutted because I wasn’t able to add my value on the field.

“That really hurt especially when you think things are going so well and momentum is on your side and then, boom, but these things happen in cricket.”

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A first-class average of around 46 suggests du Plooy will be an asset once he adjusts to conditions on the county circuit which he rates as the best in the game even though he admitted moving to England was not an easy decision.

“I just felt my future career here is a lot better and at the end of the day only I can be accountable for that and make the most of the opportunities,” he said.

“It’s definitely different but in life and cricket you have to be adaptable and I’m going to take that as a challenge.

“People don’t realise you make a cricketing decision but it’s a lot more difficult than that, it’s a life decision, a career decision. I’ve got friends and family over there that I love and I’m old enough now to know it’s not just about cricket so it’s tough leaving those people behind.

“But I knew it was the right decision for me to come over here and try and pursue a career. This is the best league in the world without any doubt so to be a part of that and get an opportunity here is something that anyone would aspire to.

“Everyone will have different opinions but in the games I’ve been involved and seeing the quality in this English set-up is quite phenomenal really.

“You take the professionalism that we have in our staff and I’m so lucky to work with guys who have played international cricket. I’m really positive and excited for my journey here.”

The lure of making a career in the “best league in the world” was too strong to resist for Derbyshire batsman Leus du Plooy.

The 24-year-old became the latest South African to join an English county when he signed a two-year Kolpak deal earlier this season.

Derbyshire followed up on a recommendation from the former South African and Glamorgan batsman Jacques Rudolph and du Plooy made his Specsavers County Championship debut last week after he recovered from a hand injury sustained in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

The left-hander had already shown the quality which made him the leading runscorer in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge with two half-centuries against Leicestershire and Yorkshire before he dislocated a finger attempting a return catch at Chester-le-Street.

“I dropped a catch which is always tough but it makes it tougher when you get injured as well,” he said.

“The moment I saw my finger at Durham I was completely gutted because I wasn’t able to add my value on the field.

“That really hurt especially when you think things are going so well and momentum is on your side and then, boom, but these things happen in cricket.”

A first-class average of around 46 suggests du Plooy will be an asset once he adjusts to conditions on the county circuit which he rates as the best in the game even though he admitted moving to England was not an easy decision.

“I just felt my future career here is a lot better and at the end of the day only I can be accountable for that and make the most of the opportunities,” he said.

“It’s definitely different but in life and cricket you have to be adaptable and I’m going to take that as a challenge.

“People don’t realise you make a cricketing decision but it’s a lot more difficult than that, it’s a life decision, a career decision. I’ve got friends and family over there that I love and I’m old enough now to know it’s not just about cricket so it’s tough leaving those people behind.

“But I knew it was the right decision for me to come over here and try and pursue a career. This is the best league in the world without any doubt so to be a part of that and get an opportunity here is something that anyone would aspire to.

“Everyone will have different opinions but in the games I’ve been involved and seeing the quality in this English set-up is quite phenomenal really.

“You take the professionalism that we have in our staff and I’m so lucky to work with guys who have played international cricket. I’m really positive and excited for my journey here.”