South African cricket has been stunned by the sudden retirement from test cricket of batsman and goalkeeper Quinton De Kock at the age of 29.
De Kock’s announcement came after South Africa’s 113-run loss to India at Centurion, when the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.
De Kock was not expected to play the remaining two trials of the series, as he would take paternity leave, but it had been anticipated that he would return to the Proteas red ball team afterward.
“This is not a decision that has come very easily,” De Kock said in a statement.
“I have taken a long time to think about what my future looks like and what should take priority in my life now that (my wife) Sasha and I are about to welcome our first child into this world and we look forward to growing our family. beyond that.
“My family is everything to me and I want to have the time and space to be with them during this exciting new chapter of our lives.
“I love Test cricket and I love representing my country and everything that goes with it.
“I’ve enjoyed the ups and downs, the celebrations, and even the disappointments, but now I’ve found something that I love even more.”
De Kock, 29, made his Test debut in 2014 and scored 3,300 runs averaging 38.82, scoring six centuries and 2250 in his 54 games.
The former Proteas Test captain claimed 232 layoffs behind the wicket through 221 sacks and 11 stumps.
De Kock caused quite a stir in October when he withdrew from South Africa’s T20 World Cup match against the West Indies, having refused to kneel before the match.
Cricket South Africa had ordered all its players to participate in the anti-racism gesture.
De Kock later apologized for his actions, insisting that he was “not a racist” and said his stance was because he felt “his rights had been taken away from him.”
He returned to the wing for South Africa’s next game against Sri Lanka, kneeling before the start of the game, and insists that he continues to bet on the shorter formats of the game.
De Kock said: “This is not the end of my career as Protea, I am fully committed to white ball cricket and representing my country to the best of my ability for the foreseeable future.”