Johannesburg [South Africa], June 27 (ANI): South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen admits he was surprised after being nominated for the ODI Cricketer of the Year earlier this month.
The 28-year-old is one of the three-man shortlisted for the international 50-over prize, alongside Quinton de Kock and Lungi Ngidi, which will be revealed at the 2020 Cricket South Africa (CSA) Awards to be held next weekend.
The swashbuckling batsman made his ODI return after more than a year out of the team and played just three matches for the national side.
He was named Man of the Series as South Africa whitewashed Australia 3-0 in February and March, scoring an unbeaten 123, 51 and 68 not out in the three games.
"Obviously it's a big honour for me. It's my first nomination for the Proteas at the CSA Awards. I must admit though that it came as a big surprise because I only played three games. What I did in the three games against Australia was really special to me, the way I came back into the international fold," he said.
"So to get recognised in just those three games is amazing considering there are guys that have been doing well there the whole season and who probably deserve to be nominated ahead of me," Klaasen added.
The right-handed batsman has also played 11 T20Is for South Africa, two of which were the start of his return this summer when he scored 66 against England and then 22 against the Aussies.
Klaasen said missing out on a place at the ICC World Cup was a low point for him over the past year, although he conceded that the way he bounced back had given him renewed hope.
"The innings against England in the last T20 and then the innings' I played against Australia, the way I came back after being left out of the World Cup having not played international cricket for quite a while, it was special for me," he said.
"The willingness to actually go out and compete, the self-belief is back and hopefully that can continue when we get back on the park again," Klaasen added.
The gala event to honour South Africa's top-performing cricketers will take place on Saturday, July 4. (ANI)