Temba Bavuma, South Africa’s one-day cricket captain, says he was not aware of Quinton de Kock’s retirement plans in advance.
It was confirmed on Tuesday – shortly after the Proteas’ World Cup squad was announced – that the 30-year-old De Kock will no longer be available for South Africa’s one-day cricket team after the knockout tournament in India.
“With Quinny you can really expect anything,” Bavuma told Cricinfo. He added that De Kock’s decision does not mean that he will now suddenly be treated differently in the team.
“It has always been a privilege to play with Quinny. We have been playing since we were o. 15 days of cricket together. He is an incredibly talented player and his absence will be a great loss for South African cricket – especially on the ODI stage.”
De Kock is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s handful of contemporary superstars. He has already scored 5,966 runs at an average of 44.85 in his 140 matches, while he also took 183 catches and 14 stumpings behind the wickets.
He recently signed a contract with the Melbourne Renegades to play in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) and this would have conflicted with his Protea duties.
According to Bavuma, De Kock was much more at ease with his teammates this year.
“He was much more talkative and he used to joke with the guys. Perhaps he had made up his mind a long time ago and was just waiting for the right moment to announce it. He has chosen to follow the T20 route – a format that suits him well – and we wish him the best of luck going forward.”
In addition to De Kock’s World Cup duties, he is also in the Protea squad for the one-day series against the visiting Australian cricket team.
The first game in the series will be decided on Thursday in Bloemfontein.