Rob Walter: I felt Ottniel Baartman was a cut above the rest

Ottniel Baartman cricketOttniel Baartman.

Limited-overs coach Rob Walter has backed the selection of Dolphins seamer Ottniel Baartman in the Proteas’ squad for next month’s T20 World Cup.

Baartman is one of two players uncapped at T20I level in the 15-man squad. The other is Lions wicketkeeper-batsman Ryan Rickelton.

Baartman was the second-highest wicket-taker in the SA20 earlier this year – and won the title with the Sunrisers Eastern Cape.

“If you’re going to talk about someone who has forced his name into the squad, you’ll have to talk about Ottniel,” the Daily Maverick quoted Walter as saying.

“Over the last couple of years, he’s been outstanding, but in particular in the SA20. I felt he was a cut above the rest.

“He really showed himself as a quality death bowler in particular. If you look at the numbers, he’s been successful through all the phases of the game.

“He’s worked really hard to get his name in the mix through sheer performance and it’s a pleasure to be able to reward those guys when it happens.”

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The 2024 T20 World Cup will be played in the United States of America’s New York and Dallas – and several West Indies venues.

I’ve never been outside of South Africa. So I don’t know any of the grounds or what to expect. If I go, it will be a first for me,” Baartman told ESPNcricinfo.

Baartman played for South Western Districts and the Knights before joining the Dolphins in 2020. He has previously been named in South Africa’s ODI squad, but has not yet been capped in international cricket.

My career started to go up from there, at the Dolphins. They had all the facilities and some world-class coaches,” he added.

South Africa have been pooled with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Nepal in group D at this year’s T20 World Cup. The Proteas have never won the tournament. They were losing semi-finalists in 2009 and 2014.

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