Hendricks relishes the prospect of a home ground debut in Kimberley

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Proteas batsman Reeza Hendricks is relishing the opportunity to make his home ground debut for the Proteas in the first One-Day International (ODI) against Zimbabwe at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Sunday.

Hendricks is a pure product of the Northern Cape Cricket system; he played all age-group cricket for Griqualand West from Under-11 and went on to make his first-class debut at the age of 17.

If selected, he will become only the fourth Kimberley-born player to play an ODI in Kimberley after Daryll Cullinan, Boeta Dippenaar and Ryan McLaren. Although he currently plays for the bizhub Highveld Lions in Johannesburg, he says it is a special feeling returning back to where it all started.

“It is going to be a special moment walking out here at the Diamond Oval representing the Proteas in the green and gold,” he said on Friday. “This is my home town, this is where it started from a very young age. I represented Griqualand West in all age groups so it will be a proud moment walking out on the field on Sunday in Proteas colours in front of my family and friends.”

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Hendricks made a dream start to his ODI career when he became the third South African to score a century on debut against Sri Lanka in Kandy last month. He says the three-match series against Zimbabwe will be the perfect platform for him to continue putting in performances to cement his spot in the squad ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in less than a year.

“I happened to have a good start to my ODI career,” Hendricks said. “In saying that, it is only a start, the three-match series against Zimbabwe is another opportunity to put in a few more good performances. I am taking it series by series but hopefully I can achieve the goal of going to the World Cup.”

The Proteas arrived in Kimberley on Friday and will wrap up their preparations with two practice sessions at the Diamond Oval ahead of the series-opener on Sunday.

“It has been good,” he said of the mood in the camp. “Guys have been preparing well over the last few days in Johannesburg. We still have a few more days before the match but we are looking forward to getting started on Sunday.”

The match is scheduled to start at 10h00 local time.