South African cricket star Quinton de Kock withdraws from test cricket

South African wicketkeeper batter Quinton de Kock has announced his retirement from test cricket.

The shock message from de Kock, 29, came just hours after he was part of the South African team beaten by 113 runs in the first Test against India.

De Kock said he remained committed to playing international limited-overs cricket.

Twice named South African Cricketer of the Year, de Kock said in a statement that he wanted to spend more time with his family.

It had already been announced that he would miss the second and third tests against India because his wife, Sasha, was about to give birth to the couple’s first child.

De Kock was involved in controversy during the T20 World Cup in October when he refused an order from Cricket South Africa to take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The order came shortly before a match against the West Indies, and it was initially announced that de Kock had withdrawn from the match for personal reasons.

South Africa's batsman Quinton de Kock takes a knee
Quinton de Kock kneels in support of the Black Lives Matter movement at the T20 World Cup following the debate over his decision not to kneel earlier.(Photo from AP / Kamran Jebreili)

After a meeting with Cricket South Africa officials, de apologized to Kock and committed himself to gesturing for future matches, although he said in his apology that he had felt that his “rights were taken away” in the way the order was conveyed.

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He did not mention the incident in his retirement statement.

De Kock said he remained committed to playing international limited-overs cricket.

“This is not a decision I have come to very easily. I have 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 about to bid our first welcome into this world and look to grow our family beyond that, ”said de Kock.

“My family is everything to me and I want to have the time and space to be with them in this new and exciting chapter of our lives.

“I love test cricket and I love representing my country and everything that comes with it. I have enjoyed the ups and downs, the festivities and even the disappointments, but now I have found something that 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.”

De Kock is considered one of the most talented wicketkeeper batsmen in the world. He scored 3,300 runs with an average of 38.82 in 54 tests, and scored at a speed of more than 70 runs per. 100 balls. He took 221 catches and completed 11 stumps.

De Kock was captain of his country in four Tests last season, but did not look happy in the role.

In January, he questioned the sustainability of biosafety environments due to COVID-19 restrictions, saying “bubble life is very unsettling”.

His retirement means that only three players in the current South African squad have made Test centuries – captain Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma.

De Kock’s place in the test team is expected to be taken over by Kyle Verreynne, who made his debut as a specialist batsman during a series in the West Indies in June.

AFP

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