Cape Town – Batsman David Bedingham, who made an impressive Test debut for South Africa against India last week, said he is still trying to secure a British passport – but not so he can play for England.
Bedingham made 56 in the first Test at Centurion and impressed observers with his stroke play, calm demeanour and shot selection.
The 29-year-old right-handed batsman has played English county cricket for Durham since 2020.
He has a claim to British citizenship through ancestry and took no part in the 2022/23 South African domestic season, leading to speculation that he saw his future in England.
“I’m still trying to get a passport in England but it’s not for cricket, it’s for after cricket,” he told journalists on Monday ahead of the second Test starting at Newlands on Wednesday.
“I’d like to continue playing there (in England) but since I’ve gone there I’ve played as an overseas player and I don’t think that will change.”
He refuted that he had entertained ambitions of playing for England.
“I had ambitions of playing (county cricket) as a local but if I was going to play for England it would still be another three or four years,” he said.
He added a call from South African coach Shukri Conrad had persuaded him to make himself available for the Test team rather than seek a place in the SA20, South Africa’s T20 franchise competition.
Bedingham and Keegan Petersen are the only two players who took part in the first Test who have been named in South Africa’s squad for two Test matches in New Zealand, with all the other first-choice players committed to the SA20.
“I took my name out of the draft so that I could play in New Zealand,” he said.
“Shuks (Conrad) called and said there’s a possibility. When I heard that no-one from SA20 can play I thought my chances of playing are quite high. I didn’t have a second thought.
“I told him I would take my name out of the draft.”
He said being selected for the series against India had come as a surprise.
Bedingham played for South Africa Under-19 in 2012/13 and was long regarded as one of the country’s most promising young players.
But a serious car accident in 2016 kept him out of cricket for a year, contributing to him making a relatively late international debut.
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