Abbott, Rossouw have given up their right to play for SA, says Lorgat

On a day where the Proteas should have been celebrating their sterling victory over Sri Lanka, Cricket South Africa (CSA) instead announced that Proteas bowler Kyle Abbott and batsman Rilee Rossouw would be leaving the team to play for an English side.

CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat announced in a press briefing on Thursday that Abbott’s contract had already been terminated, while the process had already begun to terminate Rossouw’s. Lorgat said that Abbott’s decision to leave had been unexpected. Both Abbott and Rossouw have signed Kolpak contracts with English team Hampshire Cricket.

A Kolpak contract is essentially an agreement that allows people from certain countries such as South Africa to play in European Union nations. It is named for Maroš Kolpak, a Slovak handball player who won the right to play in a German division after quotas restricting non-domestic nationals were overturned by the European Court of Justice. Prior to the 2003 ruling the English Cricket Board restricted the number of non-EU citizens allowed in a county cricket team to one.

“It did come as a surprise to me,” Lorgat said, pointing out that things might have turned out differently if been different if they had learned of Abbot’s intentions earlier. “We could have engaged in some conversation with Kyle to see if we could’ve helped him in his decision. But I had no part in it, so I feel a little bit disappointed.”

Abbott has signed a four-year contract with Hampshire, and consequently can no longer play for a South African side. The bowler made his announcement just before Lorgat spoke on Thursday, reading from a press statement. The cricketer said that he made the decision because it ensured he was professionally secured for the next four years.

Although Abbott said that he remained committed to South Africa, Lorgat emphasised that both Abbott and Rossouw have given up their right to play for South Africa.

“He’s [Abbott] got to look after his future but at the same time I don’t think he wants to give up the right to play for South Africa, but that’s what he’s done and as a consequence we have terminated his contract,” Lorgat said.

Lorgat said that over the past few days Cricket South Africa had worked with Abbott to work on a “mutual separation”.

He said that although it was yet finalised, the cricket organisation would be doing the same with Rilee Rossouw, who signed a three-year contract with Hampshire.

In his own statement, Rossouw said he was moving to England so that he and his family could have “long term career security”.

A clearly annoyed Lorgat expressed regret at the investment made in Rossouw’s career when he was leaving the Proteas.

“We invest huge sums of money in every individual and if you take Riley, by way of example the last I don’t know how many months, Dr Moosajee, we’ve been treating his injuries, we’ve been investing in him and sadly there’s no return for us in the years to come,” Lorgat said. “We will be terminating his contract as well.”

The focus for CSA will now be to find fresh talent. Proteas coach Russell Domingo raised eyebrows when he said he had not spoken to Rossouw since the Proteas tour in Australia in November 2015. Domingo confirmed that Duanne Olivier would replace Abbott and Wayne Parnell would remain in the squad, while Lorgat committed to investing in future South African cricketers.

“Instead of crying over that spilt milk, we will invest in future South Africans that want to avail themselves to play for the Proteas under the guidance currently of Russell Domingo, and that’s where I would want to focus my energies,” Lorgat said.

Lorgat said that the cricket committee had met and that recommendation would be made to the board on a policy concerning how Kolpak contracts should be handled. He stressed that places in the squad are limited and must be occupied by cricketers who are committed to playing for South Africa.

Staff Reporter
Guest Author

Workers’ R60m ‘lost’ in banks scam

An asset manager, VBS Mutual Bank and a Namibian bank have put the retirement funds of 26 000 municipal workers in South Africa at risk

‘Judge President Hlophe tried to influence allocation of judges to...

Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath accuses Hlophe of attempting to influence her to allocate the case to judges he perceived as ‘favourably disposed’ to former president Jacob Zuma

SAA grounds flights due to low demand

SAA is working to accommodate customers on its sister airlines after it cancelled flights due to low demand

Lekwa municipality won’t answer questions about why children died in...

Three children are dead. More than a dozen homes have been gutted by fires in the past six months. And, as...

Press Releases

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.