Sport / Cricket

Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
14 Nov 2018
2:25 pm

AB’s spiritual successor isn’t coming home

Heinz Schenk

Even though this talented left-hander is back in South Africa to play in the Mzansi Super League...

Rilee Rossouw. Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

The last time Rilee Rossouw played international cricket, he was named Man-of-the-Series.

Significantly, the left-hander – who made 311 runs at an average of 77 in a 5-0 whitewash of Australia – was hailed as the successor to AB de Villiers, particularly given the fact that the injured De Villiers was not present.

A few months later, Rossouw dropped a bombshell: his Proteas career was over as he’d signed a Kolpak agreement with English county side Hampshire.

Russell Domingo and Haroon Lorgat, national head coach and CSA chief, respectively, fanned the flames by accusing him of a lack of communication.

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Now, the 29-year-old is back for a short stint with the Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League; De Villiers has retired from internationals; and there’s only one year left on Rossouw’s English contract.

The big question to ask is rather obvious: Is he coming back?

“I have to admit that I haven’t really looked back since I made that decision,” Rossouw said on Wednesday.

“Obviously I do miss playing for the Proteas, but it’s a decision I made. I’m sticking with it.”

Even the dangling carrot of De Villiers being out of the picture isn’t enough to tempt him to make a return.

“The Kolpak decision wasn’t one I made overnight. I’d love to talk to you all about the why in detail, but it’s not the right time yet,” said Rossouw.

“It’s good to be back. I have one year left on my current contract and I haven’t really given thought to what comes after that. As things stand right now, I just want to keep on extending.”

But the man from Bloemfontein certainly isn’t averse to playing at home again, despite any lingering feelings over his departure.

“I was on holiday when I got the call from the Spartans. I didn’t hesitate for a second to come play in the MSL,” said Rossouw.

“I’m only here for two games (as replacement for Zimbabwean Sean Williams), but my aim is to make the biggest impact possible.”

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