Proteas wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock shocked South African cricket fans on Thursday night by announcing his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect.
The announcement comes after the Proteas lost the first of three Tests against India in Centurion earlier on Thursday. De Kock had already announced he would not be available for the second and third Tests due to the birth of his and his wife, Sasha’s, first child any time in the coming days.
De Kock said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
De Kock made his Proteas Test debut against Australia in Gqeberha in 2014. In 54 matches, he amassed 3,300 runs with a high score of 141 not-out, at an average of 38.82 and strike rate of 70.93. He also has six centuries and 22 half-centuries under his belt.
As wicket-keeper he took 232 dismissals, including 221 catches and 11 stumpings.
“This is not a decision that I have come to very easily. I have taken a lot of time to think about what my future looks like and what needs to take priority in my life now that Sasha and I are about to welcome our first child into this world and look to grow our family beyond that,” said the exciting lower order batsmen.
“My family is everything to me and I want to have the time and space to be able to be with them during this new and exciting chapter of our lives.
“I love Test cricket and I love representing my country and all that it comes with. I’ve enjoyed the ups and the downs, the celebrations and even the disappointments, but now I’ve found something that I love even more.
“In life, you can buy almost everything except for time, and right now, it’s time to do right by the people that mean the most to me.”
De Kock said he was still available to play ODI and T20 cricket for South Africa.
Kyle Verreynne and Ryan Rickelton are the two options in the current Proteas Test squad to take up the gloves in the second and third Tests against India.
Meanwhile, Pholetsi Moseki, Acting CEO of Cricket South Africa, congratulated De Kock on an exemplary career.
“It’s sad to lose a player of Quinton’s calibre at what we still see as the prime of his career and relatively young life, but family, as we all say here at CSA, is everything. He has been a loyal and proud servant of the Proteas team for the last seven years and we are glad that we have not lost him from the game entirely.
“We value his contribution to the team as a leader and we are grateful for the time and energy that he has given the team in years passed.
“We would like to wish him and Sasha all the best ahead of the birth of their little girl and we are excited to be gaining another member in our cricket family. We look forward to seeing Quinton at his fighting best in white ball cricket.”