30-year-old English wicket-keeper batsman Riki Wessels, who will play for the Khulna Titans, spoke to Cricbuzz before leaving for Bangladesh. Wessels, the son of former Australia and South African Test cricketer Kepler, said: “It’s always a risk and a concern wherever you go, probably more so at the moment in these places.

“I’ve spoken to my family, spoken to my father about it and I’ve seen the England boys out there who have been alright. I weighed up the options but it’s my job at the end of the day. The risks are going to be there no matter where I go. There will be security when I arrive at the airport and getting to the hotel. I can’t see there being too many trips outside of the hotel other than what’s needed in terms of going to the grounds for matches and training. I’ll speak to the Titans about it more in-depth and find out who our security liaison officer is when I get out there.”

On joining the BPL and playing for Khulna Titans, he said, “It’s an international tournament so the standard is really high and there are real quality marquee players,” says Wessels. “If it’s good enough for Chris Gayle, probably the T20 king at the moment in the world, there’s got to be something right with the competition. I’m really looking forward to it.”

“They are different conditions that you don’t really experience when you play in Australia or England. It’s always nice to get those opportunities to play in those conditions when it’s uncomfortable, it’s hot. The wickets are different because they get a bit tired during a competition with 45 games using just two grounds really.”

Despite difficulties in first-class cricket, Wessels had a fine domestic season in both the T20 and 50-over competitions, averaging 42 in the former and 64 in the latter. As an opening batsman, the ability to give a one-day innings an explosive start is paramount and Wessels proved his ability to do just that with a series of sparkling innings which included an innings of 80 from 35 balls against Worcestershire in July.

“I’ve come off the back of one of the best white ball seasons I’ve had in professional cricket,” he says. “To have the opportunity to go out to Bangladesh is great to keep the skills improving and another reason I made the decision. One-day cricket is a game that is continually evolving. If you see the scores in 50-over cricket especially, it’s important to keep improving and getting better at it.”

In T20 cricket particularly, Wessels is worth a look by England now that he has finally qualified for them but he is under no illusions as to how tough it will be to force his way in to contention. “It’s always in the back of your mind to play international cricket,” he says. “Watching England in Bangladesh, there were some good performances from some young players and some players aren’t even making that side who have been in the set-up for a while. For me, it’s always something that would be nice to happen but I’m not going to set my goals on.”

An England call may come one day, but for now Wessels is concentrating on taking opportunities when they arise.


Article Courtesy: Cricbuzz