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SA-born Phillips stunned by NZ T20 call-up

February 17, 2017

AUCKLAND: South African-born Glenn Phillips is shocked by his call-up to join New Zealand for their Twenty20 International fixture against the Proteas.

Phillips, 20, replaces injured opening batsman Martin Guptill, who will miss the first three matches of South Africa’s tour of New Zealand after suffering a hamstring injury.

Phillips was born in East London before moving to New Zealand with his family at the age of five.

He has played through every age-group level at Sacred Heart College and Auckland before making his debut for the Aces in 2015.

Phillips first came to the cricketing world’s attention last year, when he smashed six sixes for Marylebone Cricket Club against the Duke of Norfolk XI at Arundel.

He is expected to open the batting for the Black Caps in their one-off Twenty20 International against the Proteas at Eden Park on Friday.

“I used to dream about it as a kid; I never thought it was really going to happen,” Phillips said on Thursday. “When I got the call, it didn’t sink in for an half an hour or so... gee, I just can’t describe it.

“My dad thought I was joking, he just couldn’t believe it and because I phoned him, I wish I could’ve seen his reaction - probably some tears.

“If I manage to get a few runs this [debut] could be even better. I’m just going to go out there and do what I do best, just get to see and hit the ball and just have fun.

“It’s a little bit intimidating, knowing I’ve watched all these guys growing up.

“Being able to meet them and actually train with them, talk to them and have a little banter with [Trent] Boult was a bit of fun, but it’s as much of a welcome you can get as a newcomer.”

New Zealand and South Africa have only played 14 Twenty20 Internationals, with the Proteas victorious in 10 of them.

The South Africans arrive in New Zealand as the world’s top-ranked one-day team after winning their last 11 one-dayers, including 5-0 clean sweeps against Austra­lia and Sri Lanka.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2017