South African cricket has been amazed at the sudden withdrawal from test cricket by wicketkeeper batter Quinton De Kock at the age of 29.
De Kock’s announcement came after South Africa’s 113 run defeat to India in Centurion as the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the triathlon series.
De Kock was not expected to play the remaining two Tests in the series as he was due to take paternity leave, but it had been expected that he would return to the Proteas red-ball team afterwards.
“This is not a decision that I have come to very easily,” De Kock said in a statement.
“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what my future looks like and what to prioritize in my life, now that (my wife) Sasha and I are welcoming our first child into this world and seem to be grow our family beyond that.
“My family is everything to me and I want 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 it comes with.
“I have enjoyed the ups and downs, the festivities and even the disappointments, but now I have found something that I love even more.”
De Kock, 29, made his Test debut in 2014, scoring 3,300 runs averaging 38.82, scoring six centuries and 22 fifties in his 54 fights.
The former Proteas Test captain claimed 232 rebounds behind the wicket via 221 catches and 11 stumpings.
De Kock caused a stir in October when he withdrew from South Africa’s T20 World Cup match against the West Indies after refusing to take the knee before the match.
Cricket South Africa had instructed all their players to take part in the anti-racism gesture.
De Kock later apologized for his actions, insisting he was “not a racist” and said his attitude came from the feeling that his “rights were being taken away”.
He returned to the sidelines for South Africa’s next match against Sri Lanka, taking the knee before the start of the game, and insisting that he remain committed to the shorter formats of the game.
De Kock said: “This is not the end of my career as a protea, I am fully committed to white-ball cricket and representing my country to the best of my ability for the foreseeable future.
“See you in the ODIs and T20s.”