Duminy to undergo mentorship to handle IPL fame

February 7th, 2009 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Feb 7 (IANS) The newest South African cricket star, Jean Paul Duminy, will be mentored by captain Graeme Smith and the Cricket South Africa management to deal with his sudden rise to fame in the wake of his huge Indian Premier League (IPL) deal with the Mumbai Indians.Duminy said he was “shocked” that the Mumbai Indians Friday bid $950,000 for him to play in their side in the IPL for the next two years.

Duminy shot to fame in the recent South African tour of Australia, where they beat the hosts in a test and one-day series on their home turf, the first side to do so in many years.

Only English cricketers Andrew Flinthoff and Kevin Pietersen got higher bids than Duminy, with Chennai Super Kings and Bangalore Royal Challengers respectively bidding $1.55 for them.

“I had just hoped to get a contract,” Duminy told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here Saturday, adding that he knew that he would be under huge pressure when the IPL started.

“There will be incredible expectations of me.”

The South African team management has put plans in place to ensure that the young Duminy can handle his instant success and fame.

The programme started Saturday with captain Graeme Smith sharing lunch with Duminy in Cape Town as the start of a mentorship programme, where no doubt Smith will share his experience after starting out a few years ago as the country’s youngest ever captain at the age of 22.

Smith took over the reigns after former captain Shaun Pollock refused to step down and was fired by the cricket authority.

Proteas coach Mickey Arthur said the management had realised how suddenly success had come to Duminy and had already spoken to him on several occasions since the Australian series.

“The unbelievable attention started in Australia,” Arthur told Beeld.

“I spoke to him, Vinnie (assistant coach Vincent Barnes) and even Graeme (Smith) has taken him under his wing.

“I believe though that JP (Duminy) is humble and intelligent enough to handle his affairs well,” he added.

Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee was also confident that Duminy would avoid the traps that were lying in wait: “I am convinced that JP has the necessary emotional intelligence to handle things.”

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