Jean Paul Duminy says he didn’t dream he was worth so much

Last year two South Africans, Loots Bossman and Ashwell Prince, came to IPL and went away merely warming the bench of Mumbai Indians. The next South African who comes won’t suffer that fate. It’s because Jean Paul Duminy has been an expensive buy at $950,000 from a start price of $300,000 and will light up the batting.

Mumbai Indians fans can look forward to a stylish left-hand batsman and a fielder in Jonty Rhodes’ class.

Duminy, 24, is the one who had a dream Test debut at Perth, scoring 50 not out, striking the winning runs in the second-highest chase of all time and followed it up with a 166 at Melbourne. Duminy has 873 runs from 40 ODIs, 276 runs from six Tests and an average of 33 from 235 runs in 8 T20 games with a highest of 78. He scored 78 and 61 in the two T20 games and averaged 53 in the one-dayers. He has played soccer at provincial level and plays squash like his dad and brothers.

Ashwell Prince going out of MI and Duminy coming in is a repeat of what happened when JP made history at Perth. Prince had hurt a thumb and Duminy got the chance and grabbed it.

“I am ecstatic, I never dreamt I was worth so much,” was JP’s reaction when he got the news,” said his dad from Capetown where he lives with his parents, two brothers and a sister. The agent Donne Commins who is in India, had conveyed the news to JP, resting after a great Aussie tour and preparing to play for the local franchisee Cape Cobras and the home series against the Aussies. He won’t be an automatic choice for the first Test at Wanderers on February 26 as Ashwell Prince will be back.

The dad said on phone from his workplace, “We are surprised too we didn’t expect he was worth so much. His talent has been recognised that’s what makes us happy.” The mother’s reaction was “this is unbelievable.”

Said James Adams, the erstwhile manager of the Cape Cobras, “I am delighted for him. JP is a brilliant person, he is good off the front as well as back foot. Above all he is level-headed. He is also an under-rated spin bowler. He will click in T20.”

Duminy was rewarded for his consistent domestic performances with a ODI debut during South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2004 and played five ODI matches, with little success. Two years later, he was recalled to the national squad for a three-match contest against Zimbabwe at home but struggled to nail down a full-time slot. However, a place in the Twenty20 World Championship squad showed he was very much a part of South Africa’s plans, and he proved his immense potential with a well-crafted 79 against West Indies the following year.

About his grand Test debut Duminy had said, “It’s something that definitely I will cherish for the rest of my life. A lot of the guys got text messages from guys that have been here and they sort of understand what this victory means to everyone.”

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