Quinton de Kock announces retirement from test cricket

South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock retired from test cricket on Thursday in a shock move announced just hours after he played in the first Test loss to India at Centurion.

In a statement, de Kock, 29, said she made her decision to have more time to spend with her family. De Kock and his wife Sasha are expecting their first child in the next few days.

“This is not a decision that I made very easily,” de Kock said. “I have taken a long time to think about what my future looks like and what should take priority in my life now that Sasha and I are about to welcome our first child into this world and seek to grow our family beyond that. .

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“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.”

De Kock said he was still “fully committed” to playing limited-limit cricket for South Africa and signed his statement with: “See you in the ODI and T20.”

His move also caught Cricket South Africa by surprise. Its CEO, Pholetsi Moseki, said: “It is sad to lose a player of Quinton’s caliber in what we still see as the best moment of his career.”

De Kock made his debut against Australia in 2014 and played 54 Tests, sometimes balancing the responsibility of opening batting and maintaining the wicket, and then leading the team as captain. He tested six centuries with his best score, 141 not against the West Indies this year, underscoring the fact that he was still one of South Africa’s best hitters. His test average is 38.82.

He made 221 captures in Tests, with 11 strains.

De Kock had previously spoken of the toll that test cricket had taken on his personal life, especially in the era of the pandemic when players often have to stay in bio-bubbles during long series, they are not allowed to leave team hotels except for matches and training sessions and are not allowed. be with family and loved ones.

He took a break from all cricket earlier this year for mental health reasons, citing the “haunting” effect of being in those coronavirus bio-bubbles.

De Kock also made headlines at the Twenty20 World Cup in October when he refused to play in a game after Cricket South Africa ordered all of its players to kneel for the Black Lives Matter movement. De Kock apologized and knelt in later matches, but said he felt that forcing players to perform the anti-racism gesture undermined its importance.

South Africa lost Test 1 to India by 113 runs early Thursday to go 1-0 down in the three-test series. De Kock was already ready to miss out on the rest of the series for the birth of his son, but he had given no public indication that he was about to leave test cricket for good.

“I love Test cricket and I love representing my country and everything that goes with it,” he said in his statement. “I have enjoyed the ups and downs, the celebrations and even the disappointments, but now I have found something that I love even more.

“In life, you can buy almost anything except time, and now is the time to do the right thing for the people who mean the most to me.”

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