Proteas' Quinton de Kock announces shock retirement from Test cricket
Wicketkeeper-batsman remains 'fully committed' to white-ball game
South African wicketkeeper/batsman Quinton de Kock has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect.
The shock announcement follows the Proteas’ crushing 113-run defeat to India, who took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series in the Boxing Day Test at SuperSport Park where De Kock scored 55 runs.
A statement by Cricket SA (CSA) on Thursday evening said De Kock cited his intentions to spend more time with his growing family as the reason for his early retirement from the format.
De Kock and his wife Sasha are expecting their first child in the coming days.
De Kock, 29, made his Proteas Test debut against Australia in Gqeberha in 2014. He went on to amass 3,300 runs in 54 matches and boasts a highest score of 141 not out. He has six centuries and 22 half-centuries under his belt.
The former Test captain’s talent as a wicketkeeper set him apart on the world stage with 232 dismissals, including 221 catches and 11 stumpings.
De Kock has the third-most dismissals for a wicketkeeper in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship — 48 in 11 matches (47 catches and one stumping) and has a personal best of six dismissals in an innings, against England in Centurion in 2019.
“This is not a decision that I have come to very easily,” De Kock said. “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.
“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.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of my Test cricket journey from the very beginning. To my coaches, teammates, the various management teams and my family and friends.
“I couldn’t have shown up as I did without your support. This is not the end of my career as a Protea, I’m fully committed to white-ball cricket and representing my country to the best of my ability for the foreseeable future.
“All the best to my teammates for the remainder of this Test series against India. See you in the ODIs and T20s.”
CSA acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki 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.” Moseki said.
“He has been a loyal and proud servant of the Proteas team for the past 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 past.
“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.”