ANI Photo | “One of the best in T20 cricket”: Mark Butcher on Heinrich Klaasen

Former England batter Mark Butcher said that South African batter Heinrich Klaasen is one of the best T20 batters in world cricket right now.
In an exclusive video on the SA20 official website, former England batter Butcher opined that there is nobody better in T20 cricket than Durban’s Super Giants master blaster Klaasen.
Butcher is in South Africa where he is performing commentary in the SA20 season two. He was also recently at the ICC Cricket World Cup in India where he watched first-hand Klaasen destroy England in the searing Mumbai heat with a stroke-filled 109 in just 67 balls.
While that performance may have occurred in the 50-overs version of the game, Klaasen has consistently been among the star performers in T20 competitions around the world for the past 18 months. He is also currently the leading run-scorer in the history of SA20 with 557 runs in 15 innings at an average of 55.70, with a century and five fifties.
“It is difficult to look past Heinrich Klaasen (as the potential top-run getter in Season 2). He is just on such a great run of form at the moment. He must be one of the best, if not the best T20 batter in world cricket, Butcher said, according to a release.
Heinrich has been on a monumental T20 run since last year.
In the inaugural Major League Cricket (MLC) in the USA last year, he scored 235 runs at an average of 58.75 and a strike rate of over 197, with one century and one fifty. His best score was 110*. He ended as the third-highest run-scorer in the tournament.
In the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, he did a one-man carry job for an inconsistent Sunrisers Hyderabad line-up, scoring 448 runs in 12 matches at an average of 49.77 and a strike rate of 177.07, with one century and two fifties. He was his side’s leading run-scorer.
In the Men’s Hundred 2023, Klaasen scored 189 runs in seven matches at an average of 31.50, with a fifty and a strike rate of 178.30. His best score was 60. the fourth-highest run-scorer in the tournament.
In the inaugural SA20 in South Africa last year, he scored 363 runs in nine innings for Durban Super Giants (DSG) at an average of 60.50 and a strike rate of above 164. He scored a century and three fifties in the tournament, with 104* as his best score. He was the fourth-highest run-scorer in the tournament. Now in the second season, he is the fourth-highest run-scorer so far, with 194 runs in five matches at an average of 48.50, with two fifties and a strike rate of over 190, the release said.
Talking about SA20, Butcher commended the tournament’s quality and popularity, comparing it favourably to the Indian Premier League. He said “I think the SA20 is right up there. The IPL stands on its own and everyone is trying to catch up to it. But the SA20 in only its second year is turning out to be a massive draw for players around the world. And I think that gives you an idea of the high quality of the tournament.”
Butcher also had huge admiration for his English compatriot Will Jacks, who struck the fastest century in the history of the competition for Pretoria Capitals against Durban’s Super Giants at Centurion on Thursday evening. “We just watched Will Jacks make an unbelievable 100 off just 40 balls. He plays for my old club Surrey. It is always nice to see those guys do well,” he said.
Having experienced the tournament live for the first time, Butcher also acclaimed the impressive concentration of talent due to the involvement of only six teams. He commended the SA20’s efforts in promoting cricket in the country, emphasizing the importance of local support in creating a vibrant atmosphere.
“The fact that there are only six teams in it, such a high concentration of talent, it means that every game is high quality. An amazing job has also been done in promoting it, and making sure that people in South Africa are getting behind their local side to turn up in numbers for live games. That’s what it is all about. The entertainment only comes when there are people in the ground,” he said.
He further added “It is my first experience live. It has been fantastic. I watched it from the UK last year, it looked like the party was pretty good. The cricket was epic. There are six really good players with excellent players from around the world.” (ANI)

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