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Johan Botha keen to play for Australian cricket team

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Botha last played for South Africa four years back

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 10:  Johan Botha of the Sixers bats during the Big Bash League match between the Sydney Sixers and the Brisbane Heat at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 10, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Botha plays for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash 

Former South African T20 captain Johan Botha wants to turn up for the Australian national team now that he has got the citizenship of the country.

Botha was granted Australian citizenship only a few days back and therefore the Sydney Sixers all-rounder is eligible to play for the national outfit now. He last played for South Africa in an international fixture some four years and a month back.

Botha has a Big Bash League (BBL)contract for another two summers and is now on the roster as a local player. The move gives his franchise the opportunity to rope in more international talent.

The 34-year-old feels he still has a lot to offer at the highest level of international cricket and says he would gladly don the yellow and green shirt if asked to do so.  

“I’m more than happy to play international cricket and I have missed it a lot, especially in the last year,” Botha told Foxsports.

“I still want to challenge myself against the best. I’m keen to play.”

The offspinner who is quite a lower order big hitter has fixed his eyes on a T20 spot during Australia’s three-match series against Sri Lanka in February.

“They will say I’m too old but I still feel that in the shorter form I can play another two, three or four years,” he said.

“There might be a little gap in the shortest form. Glenn Maxwell is a top order batsman who gives you some spin. I suppose someone at 7 or 8 who can bowl some spin could also be handy.”

The spinning all-rounder had led the Proteas in 10 One-Dayers and 11 T20 Internationals between 2008 and 2012 but has spent the last four years in Australia with his family.  When he was questioned on how he would approach a potential tie versus South Africa, a team which he once captained, Botha said, “I wouldn’t find it weird, I wouldn’t say.”

“It would be a great challenge. KP (Kevin Pietersen) and Jonathon Trott have done it. When I walk onto the field it’s all about winning. You just want to compete and win for the team that you’re playing for. That’s what I’ve always done.

“You just need to put your best foot forward.”

At the weekend Botha featured in Sydney’s grade competition for Mosman Cricket Club where he grabbed a hat-trick, finishing with figures of 5/12 and then slamming a 45-ball 102 to propel his outfit to an emphatic win.

The Sixers take on the Thunder in the first game of BBL|06 on December 20 at Spotless Stadium in Sydney.

Also Read: Chris Gayle opts out of 2016/17 Big Bash League


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