Home Sport Cricket In-form De Kock says he declined Proteas contract

In-form De Kock says he declined Proteas contract

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It is understood that Cricket SA did propose an offer to the star left-handed batter, but it was declined by the 31-year-old.

Quinton De Kock of Durban’s Super Giants during the 2023 SA20. FIle Picture: Sportzpics, SA20, BackpagePix

Ongama Gcwabe

WHEN Cricket South Africa announced the men’s national contracts for the 2024/25 season, many were shocked by the omission of experienced players like Anrich Nortjé and former captain Quinton de Kock.

Prior to the announcement of the contract list, De Kock had already retired from Test and ODI cricket, but is still available for T20 internationals.

And because CSA had mentioned the possibility of taking the direction of single-format contracts starting next season, De Kock’s omission came as a surprise.

However, it is understood that Cricket SA did propose an offer to the star left-handed batter, but it was declined by the 31-year-old.

“No, I never wanted a contract,” De Kock told Redsportz after his latest Indian Premier League (IPL) outing for the Lucknow Super Giants this week.

“I just want to go out and play cricket. I don’t want to be contracted to anyone anymore. I just want to play cricket on my own terms. And it makes no sense.

“Even if they offered me a contract, which they have tried, it makes no sense to me to sign a contract just for one format – that, too, for a World Cup which is every two years.

“I’m older in my career. Rather get a youngster in and invest in youngsters who could replace me in my spot for other formats. If I was thinking about cricketing terms, that’s what I would do.”

Despite not being contracted, De Kock could still be selected in the Proteas T20 World Cup squad when white-ball coach Rob Walter announces his preliminary group next month.

However, De Kock’s poor form in the SA20 earlier this year was a concern as the opening batter averaged just 19 in 12 innings.

However, the explosive left-handed batter has shown signs of getting back to his best as he has smashed back-to-back half-centuries for the Lucknow Super Giants in the ongoing IPL.

“It’s always nice scoring runs for the team,” De Kock said after scoring a match-winning 81 off 56 balls against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium earlier this week.

“Normally batting first here in Bangalore, it’s quite difficult because you never know what kind of score you need to set. To be fair, I was worried that it wasn’t enough, but it was at the end of the day.”

De Kock was explosive earlier on in his innings, which included eight fours and five sixes, but scored at a slower rate in the middle overs as he lost his opening partner KL Rahul and Devdutt Padikkal cheaply.

The experienced opener said that he was merely responding to the game situation, and fulfilling the responsibility that he has as an opener.

“The nature of where the game was, I couldn’t really play as freely as I wanted to. I had to take a bit of control of the innings and set (out) to bat for longer,” De Kock said.

“Whether I’m playing at the Chinnaswamy or anywhere around the world, I think as an opening batsman your job is to assess conditions and take the game forward.”

Should De Kock continue to put up the big numbers in the IPL, Walter will have no choice but to look his way for the T20 World Cup.

Fellow left-handed batter Ryan Rickelton would be unfortunate to miss out, however, after an impressive SA20 campaign, where he scored over 500 runs in 10 innings.

Quinton de Kock’s IPL Season thus far:

81: Royal Challengers Bengaluru

54: Punjab Kings

4: Rajasthan Royals

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