Eyebrows have been raised and fans are asking if there’s more to the story after one of cricket’s most recognizable faces decided to walk away.
South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock announced his retirement from test cricket with immediate effect.
The 29-year-old De Kock’s shocking announcement came just hours after he was part of the South African team defeated by 113 runs in Test 1 against India at SuperSport Park.
Enjoy every moment of The Ashes live and ad-free during gameplay on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14 days for free now.
De Kock said he remained committed to playing limited international cricket.
Twice named South African cricketer of the year, de Kock said in a statement that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
It had already been announced that he would miss the second and third Test against India because his wife, Sasha, is about to give birth to the couple’s first child.
De Kock became embroiled in controversy during the T20 World Cup in October when he rejected an order from Cricket South Africa to kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The order came shortly before a match against the West Indies and it was initially announced that De Kock had withdrawn from the match for personal reasons.
After a meeting with Cricket South Africa officials, de Kock apologized and pledged the gesture for future matches, though in apologizing he said he felt his “rights were taken away” in the way the order was conveyed.
He did not mention the incident in his retirement statement.
“This is not a decision that came easily. I have taken a long time to think about what my future is 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 we seek to grow our family beyond that. ” by Said Kock.
“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.
“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.”
The cricket world was shocked by the announcement. Former India inaugural hitter Aakash Chopra tweeted: “He was expected to take paternity leave but to announce his retirement. Well … I didn’t see this coming. Nobody did, I guess. All of 29. Already done with the longest format “.
Journalist Manish Pandey wrote: “A surprise that de Kock has chosen to withdraw entirely. He was expected to take paternity leave, but withdrawing completely from Test Match cricket at age 29 is a blow to South Africa and to the game as a whole. “
Cricket writer S. Sundarshanan added: “Woahh! Quinton de Kock retires from Tests. I did not see that coming. I wonder if there is something else. “
De Kock was considered one of the most talented amateur hitters in the world. He scored 3,300 runs at an average of 38.82 in 54 tests, scoring at a rate of more than 70 runs per 100 balls. He made 221 captures and completed 11 strains.
De Kock was captain of his country in four events last season, but he did not seem happy on paper.
In January, he questioned the sustainability of biosecure environments as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, saying that “the life of bubbles is very disturbing.”
His retirement means that only three players from the current South African squad have done centuries of testing: captain Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma.
De Kock’s place on the test team is expected to go to Kyle Verreynne, who made his debut as a specialized hitter during a series in the West Indies in June.