You will start to see guys playing until they are a lot older: Tim Southee

Hamilton, Jan 28 (IANS): Senior New Zealand pacer Tim Southee believes many cricketers will be seen playing even when they get older. He added that if he can continue to perform, age should not come into the conversation.

Southee entered the international cricket arena as a 19-year-old in 2008. Since then, the 33-year-old has developed into a key figure in New Zealand's pace attack.

"I think you'll start to see guys playing until they're a lot older than they used to. I don't really see age as a number, I never really have. If someone is 16 and they're good enough then I don't see why they shouldn't play, and that's the same as if they're 40. There's an expectation and a level that you have to perform at to play at international level, so hopefully I have a few years left," said Southee on Mornings with Ian Smith show on SENZ radio.

With the cancellation of white-ball tour to Australia, New Zealand's next international assignment is now a two-match Test series against South Africa at the Hagley Oval, starting from February 17. Southee was hopeful of the series being an exciting one, especially with South Africa coming off a come-from-behind 2-1 series win over India at home.

"South Africa are coming off a great series against India, so the series is shaping up to be a great way to end the Test summer. They are dominated by pace, led by (Kagiso) Rabada and (Lungi) Ngidi, which will be a challenge for us. I think Rabada is the only player who has toured here (in NZ) before, but they're an exciting attack with a pretty outstanding line-up."

While Rabada finished as the leading wicket-taker in the series with 20 wickets, Ngidi scalped 15 wickets in the three-match series. But Southee is looking forward to seeing young all-rounder Marco Jansen in action. Coming in for an injured Anrich Nortje, left-arm pacer Jansen was the surprise package for South Africa, taking 19 wickets in three matches.

"Marco Jansen, the young guy who has come in, he's had a fantastic start to his career, and when you add in Ngidi and Rabada, it's a pretty tidy line-up. They're going to present a big challenge for us, going up against the best, but that's something you enjoy and I'm looking forward to."



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