“I have a story to tell now around the braai.”
That’s the way that Dane Piedt views his comeback from a horrific shoulder injury that very nearly ended his cricketing career.
The freak injury, while on duty for the Cape Cobras at the Champions League T20 last year, couldn’t have come at a worse time given that Piedt had already made progress within the South African side and looked set to feature as the go-to spin option in the Test side.
In fact, Piedt made a difference with the very first ball of his Test career against Zimbabwe in August last year and in so doing became only the 19th player to ever claim a Test scalp with his first delivery.
“It’s exciting coming back again. Six months off is not a short time. I’m just really excited to get back and try implement the things I’ve learnt here and throughout my career,” Piedt, who was part of the spin camp held at the Centre of Excellence in Pretoria last week, said.
The 25-year-old has been included as part of the South Africa A side heading to India for two unofficial four day Tests.
“It came at quite a bad time but it’s all over now and I’m raring to go to India,” Piedt said if the shoulder injury that required surgery and means that the off-spinner now has two screws in the affected area.
“I’m titanium now,” he joked, his positive energy clear to see as he spoke of the disappointment of missing the series against the West Indies and how he congratulated Simon Harmer, who took seven wickets on debut at Newlands, via text message.
Nothing in his demeanour suggests hard feelings, instead Piedt welcomes the competition for places amongst South Africa’s spin ranks that includes the likes of Aaron Phangiso, Eddie Leie, Keshav Maharaj, Imran Tahir and Harmer.
“Seeing someone go and do as well is obviously hard but I don’t hold any grudges. I’m a happy person,” said Piedt before commenting on the competition among the tweakers.
“There’s just a wider variety to pick from. It’s just the growth of spin and it’s just showed that there’s plenty to pick from.”
“There are options for the selectors to pick now.”
For now though Piedt is focusing on the trip to India and working his way back into contention for the Proteas setup.
“The quicker I start bowling well the quicker I want to get back in the national side. There’s a lot of sub-continent tours coming up. It’s going to identify where I am,” Piedt said before touching on his inclusion in the South Africa A side and the upcoming tour.
“It’s a great squad that’s been picked. It’s a challenging team and it’s going to be tough,” he said.