Boeta Dippenaar Interview

Posted on/at 11:24 AM by The Cricket Corollary

Coming into the Airtel Champions League tournament, are you happy with the team's preparations?
Yes, we are really well prepared going into the tournament. We feel that we stand a good chance. We have come here early so that we can get the maximum number of warm-up matches and can adapt to the conditions and pitches faster and better.

Diamond Eagles are generally up against the domestic teams of South Africa. How difficult would it be to compete with the domestic teams of other cricketing nations in a tournament of international stature?
It is obviously going to be challenging for us but we have tried to collect as much of information as possible about the other teams and have come well prepared to deal with it. Out main focus, though, would be on our own game. We have done very well as a team and we are fully aware of our strengths and weaknesses. We will play accordingly and try to give our best on the field.

Your team doesn't have too many big stars as compared to the other teams in the tournament. Do you think that is going to be a disadvantage?
No, I don't think so. Since we are a young side, the other teams wouldn't know much about us. That will be an advantage for us as we can spring some real good surprises. However, we are one of the two top teams in South Africa and I think we are a strong unit. Moreover, we always seem to have exceeded people's expectations and this time also we hope and plan do the same. Most importantly, we will have to play well as a unit and we look forward to doing just that.

Which team do you rate as the most difficult to beat in the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 2009?
There are so many good teams that it is very difficult to pin-point just one of them. Most teams are very strong, so I don't think I can single out any particular side that can pose a bigger threat to us than the others. We would have to be on guard against each one of them.

What do you think about the concept of top domestic cricketing teams contesting in a tournament?
I think it is a great concept. With so much cricket being played these days all year round, the supporters are actually looking forward to something different. And this particular concept offers something very new to cricket-lovers. Obviously, people support their respective national teams but here they will get to make a choice about which team they would want to go with. It's unique and interesting.

Do you think with no national interest at stake, this concept is going to work here in India?
Yes, absolutely. Indians are very passionate about their sports, especially cricket, and I have no doubt that they would appreciate watching some quality cricket and support the team of their choice in this Airtel Champions League Twenty20 competition.

How will your own experience of playing international cricket help the team consisting of all youngsters, who do not have much experience of playing outside South Africa?
It is not just me who will help the youngsters to get used to the conditions. In fact, we had a fruitful session with Allan Donald and now Sourav Ganguly will also join us in a couple of days to share his valuable experiences with us. That is something all of us are looking forward to. The boys are going to benefit a lot in the long run from these quality sessions with such great players.

On a personal note, do you miss playing international cricket?
Yes, of course I do. There is no better place to be other than international cricket for sure.

Do you think the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 will give you similar opportunities as international cricket used to? How much are you looking forward to it?
I am very excited. In fact, not just I - the whole team is very excited and upbeat about playing in India. They are all looking forward to get out there.

Although you could never cement your Test place in the South African squad, you always managed to find a place for yourself in the ODI team for most of your international career. Would you say that your style of play is more suited to the shorter version of the games?
Although, the international records suggest that, I don't think so. I have always enjoyed the longer version of the game more and according to me, scoring runs in a Test match or a four-day game is always more satisfying as a batsman than hitting runs in one-dayers or T20s. No doubt Twenty20 cricket is very good, but Test cricket is obviously the best format of the game.