South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock withdrew from the test cricket on Thursday in a shocked move that was announced just hours after he played the defeat to India in the first Test in Centurion.
In a statement, 29-year-old de Kock said he made his decision to have more time to spend with his family. De Kock and his wife Sasha are expecting their first child in the coming days.
“This is not a decision I have come to very easily,” de Kock said. “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what my future looks like and what to prioritize in my life now that Sasha and I are welcoming our first child into this world and looking to grow our family. above the.
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“My family is everything to me and I want the time and space to be with them in this new and exciting chapter of our lives.”
De Kock said he was still “fully committed” to playing limited-overs cricket for South Africa and acknowledged his statement with: “See you in the ODIs and T20s.”
His move apparently also surprised Cricket South Africa. Its chief executive, Pholetsi Moseki, said: “It’s sad to lose a player of Quinton’s caliber on what we still see as the pinnacle of his career.”
De Kock made his debut against Australia in 2014, playing 54 Tests, sometimes balancing the responsibility of opening batting and holding the wicket, and later leading the team as captain. He made six Test centuries with his best score, 141 not out against the Caribbean this year, underscoring the fact that he was still one of South Africa’s leading batterers. His test average is 38.82.
He took 221 catches in tests with 11 stumpings.
De Kock had previously talked about the toll that test cricket had taken on his personal life, especially in the pandemic era, where players often have to stay in biobubbles during long series, are not allowed to leave team hotels except for matches and training sessions and are not allowed to be together with family and loved ones.
He took a break from all cricket earlier this year for mental health reasons, citing the “disturbing” effect of being in these coronavirus biobubbles.
De Kock also made headlines at the Twenty20 World Cup in October when he refused to play in a match after Cricket South Africa ordered all his players to take a knee for the Black Lives Matter movement. De Kock apologized and took a knee in later matches, but said he felt it undermined the importance of forcing players to carry out the anti-racism gesture.
South Africa lost the first Test against India with 113 runs earlier on Thursday to go down 1-0 in the three Test series. De Kock was already set to miss the rest of the series for the birth of his child, but had given no public indication that he was quitting Test cricket forever.
“I love test cricket and I love representing my country and everything that comes with it,” he said in his statement. “I have enjoyed the ups and downs, the festivities and even the disappointments, but now I have found something I love even more.
“In life, you can buy almost anything except time, and right now it’s time to do the right thing by the people who matter most to me.”
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