Abbott, Rossouw quit SA careers; set to join Hampshire

South Africa’s Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw has decided to quit International for Kolpak deal with English county club, Hampshire. Abbott has signed for four years while Rossouw will play for three years.

During the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka, a report came on ESPNcricinfo that Proteas pacer Kyle Abbott was expected to join Hampshire on Kolpak deal. After the end of Cape Town Test against Sri Lanka, Abbott confirmed his signing with the English county club.

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Abbott played 11 Tests, 28 ODIs and 21 T20Is in International arena for South Africa and took 99 wickets in total. He picked 7 for 29 against Pakistan on his Test debut in Centurion in 2013 and remained wicketless in his last Test against Sri Lanka.

He said after the end of second Test of the series, “It has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make but it is the right decision for me. There have been a few evenings where I have gone to sleep wondering if I made the right decision and woken up in the morning knowing I have. The last few months [since I made the decision], it’s about playing with the weight off my shoulders. In the last few months, I have never felt far away from being dropped. I’ve now played thinking if I do, it doesn’t matter. I am really enjoying it. If I wasn’t committed to South African cricket, I would have done this a long time ago.”

Meanwhile, top-order batsman Rilee Rossouw has decided to join Abbott for the same team on Kolpak deal. He had been a regular member in Proteas team, scoring 1239 runs in 36 ODIs and 327 runs in 15 T20Is. He remained top-scorer and was also named player of the series in the five-match home ODI series against Australia.

“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. 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,” the 27-year old left-hander said in a statement.

To be noted, a Kolpak player cannot play for his country. English county season has to be his priority. He is not considered as an overseas player. South Africa is part of a deal called the Cotonou Agreement with the EU.

-Ruffin, Correspondent,

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