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Kimberley’s Diamond may glitter at World Cup

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The period just before the World Cup squad is announced is always a tricky one.

FOCUSED: Reeza Hendricks of South Africa is doing what he needs to do to contribute to the team and is not going to be distracted by what may or may not happen in the future. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky BackpagePix

“I’m not looking at it like that. Yes, the World Cup is around the corner but we’ve got a series on our hands and this is an opportunity for us as well,” he said of the ongoing series.

He is well aware that he may be jousting with Aiden Markram for the third top-order spot, given the experience of Hashim Amla and explosiveness of Quinton de Kock. The smart money would be on that pair striding out together at The Oval, for the opening game of the 2019 World Cup.

Hendricks, his franchise teammate Rassie van der Dussen and Markram may then be playing for one slot in the squad.

“Personally, I am taking it game by game and trying to contribute as well as I can in each opportunity I get. The rest will take care of itself,” he maintained.

The rest has certainly taken care of itself this season for the 29 year-old. He has batted out of his skin at times, showing that all the promise of youth is now ready to come to the fore at the highest level of all.

He admits that going to England would be the stuff of dreams. As it should be, because he would have to question his very place in the team – in the game, even – if he didn’t have the loftiest of ambitions.

“It’s a dream to represent your country at the World Cup. So it would mean a hell of a lot to me,” he said with a smile.

It’s a happy thought, and one that he knows is now within touching distance. The hard yards have been done, and it is up to him to express himself and show the selectors that he is the man for the here and now.

Four years is a long, long time from now. You only have to look back at how distant Auckland 2015 will seem for half of the current squad to realise that the game moves on and on.

Hendricks has been joined in the squad by Lions stablemate Van der Dussen, and he has been thrilled to see the swashbuckler hit the ground running.

“I was proud to see him make his debut and contribute the way he did. He played really well,” Hendricks said of the debut 93.

“ I have played a few seasons with him now and I know his capabilities. He showed what he was about in PE.”

Hendricks adds that there is no thought of anything beyond this series, and that he knows the quality around him will do the job if he misses out.

“At the end of the day, if I don’t get selected, I know that the player next to me will do the job and I will back them 100 percent.”

It’s a selfless approach, but the silky ball striker from Kimberley may yet emerge as the diamond that glitters and sets the Proteas on their way to the real treasure in July.

Play in the second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan starts at 1pm at Kingsmead.

Coverage is on SABC 3 and Supersport 2.