Abbott, Rossouw bids farewell to Proteas

Haroon Lorgat, CSA

In a major setback to South African cricket, Kyle Abbott & Rilee Rossouw are no longer eligible for Proteas national selection.

Abbott has signed a four-year deal with English county Hampshire while Rossouw will be in Southampton for the next three seasons as Kolpak-registered players, which makes them ineligible for national selection according to the rules and regulations.

The CSA terminated the contract of Kyle Abbott after he announced his decision and said it is in the process of doing the same to Rile Rossouw.

“Regrettably we have no option but to severe our ties with both Abbott and Rossouw as they are no longer available for South Africa,” said CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

“It is a disappointing day not just for South African cricket but also for international cricket as these players have given up their opportunity to be seen in action on the international circuit.

“From CSA’s perspective it is a loss as we invest immeasurable amounts which include premium time, finance, technical, high performance coaching followed by development tours and providing general player welfare over a long period of time.

“By way of example, Rilee has spent a lengthy period on the injury list while we spared no expense in providing him with the best medical support.

“Both Rilee and Kyle have been given opportunities over the past year to play at the highest level and were firmly in our plans for the future.

“We have encouraged Rilee and Kyle to reconsider their decisions but both have indicated that they wish to take up Kolpak contracts.

“Whilst this is a loss for South African cricket we can only wish them well with their overseas careers.”

Abbott has played 10 Test matches for South Africa and captured 39 wickets at 21.30 since making his debut in 2013.

“I am delighted to be joining Hampshire for the 2017 season onwards,” Abbott said.

“I have an extremely strong affection with the Club given my previous stints there and can’t wait to get the ball in my hand at the start of the season.

“I would also like to express my thanks to Cricket South Africa and the Warriors for their understanding during this process.

“Making the decision to commit my long term future to Hampshire was undoubtedly the most difficult one I have ever had to make and I leave with more than a little sadness knowing that I won’t represent the Proteas again.

“Representing my country was undoubtedly the biggest honour in my career and I am very thankful for the opportunity to have represented South Africa and the Proteas.”

Rile Rossouw have played 36 one-day internationals and 15 t20 matches for Proteas since he debut.

“Deciding to leave South Africa is something I have thought long and hard about and moving to England will give me and my family the long term career security that I believe is important at this stage of my life,” Rossouw said in a statement.

“I have loved representing the Proteas and will watch from afar with great affection every time they take the field from now on but I am hugely dedicated to making Hampshire cricket successful on the field.

“I would like to express my thanks to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity to represent my country and also for the Knights for their continued support.”

Haroon Lorgat, speaking late last year, admitted that his organization was powerless to prevent players form going to counties for bigger money.

“We cannot restrain individuals from plying their trade,” Lorgat said.

“We have realised a long time back that the world is a global village with people very mobile. Like in every other country and across every other profession, South African citizens will venture abroad to take advantage of stronger currencies and employment opportunities.

“This mobility affects all professions and is not limited to cricketers who ply their trade in English counties.”