Former South African all-rounder Johan Botha is all set to come out of retirement as the Hobart Hurricanes have managed to convince the now Australian citizen to play in the upcoming 10th edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 in Australia.
The Hobart Hurricanes on Monday (December 7) announced that they have signed Botha as a replacement for Sandeep Lamichhane after the Nepal spinner contracted COVID-19 and won't be available to play for the club earlier in January 2021.
38-year-old Botha retired from international cricket during the ICC T20 World Cup 2012 in Sri Lanka. He had made his BBL debut for Adelaide Strikers in 2011 and went on to spend four years at the club before spending another four years at Sydney Sixers.
In 2018, the former Proteas cricketer has joined the Hurricanes side and last season, he announced his retirement from all formats of the game. After retirement, Botha took the coaching and was with Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as their fielding coach.
Botha took 39 wickets at an average of 38.10, an economy rate of 7.14, and a strike rate of 32.03 in 65 BBL games before calling time on his cricketing career last January citing physical fatigue.
However, the all-rounder will now be yet again seen in purple in the upcoming BBL 10 after COVID-19 restrictions and virus has turned the equation upside down.
Botha has already received Australian citizenship in 2016 and is on the coaching roster for Tasmania. He will join the club as a local player and be available for the first BBL 10 game for the Hurricanes against Sydney Sixers on December 10.
On his return, Botha said: “Obviously, the Hurricanes is the last team I finished with, and it wasn't quite the end I wanted. There were four games to go in the season back then, and the guys were playing really good cricket. I didn't think I'd get another opportunity to play, and then chatting to Ben Rohrer and Griff (head coach Adam Griffith) – they said there might be an opportunity coming up for me.”
He further said in an official Hobart Hurricanes release, “It was a choice between ''Do I further my coaching career, or do I miss the first couple of games of the Pakistan Super League. I figured I'm as fit as I've ever been, and I feel I can still make a contribution to the team.”
Both signed off by saying, “I've missed playing but I didn't really want to put it out there and say ''can you pick me'' in case it didn't work out, so we kept it quiet from when we first chatted about it at the Shield hub in Adelaide, and it slowly built up from there.”
(With ANI Inputs)