CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA (CSA) on Tuesday expressed its disappointment at Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier’s decision to reject a national contract and continue his career as a Kolpak player in the England county championship. Duanne explained his decision in an Instagram post, in which he said it had been the “most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make” and that he had to consider all his options because the career of a professional cricket player is short lived. (Read the full post below.)
“We find it extremely disappointing that Duanne has taken this step after all the opportunities we have given him, particularly over the past season and going forward, to live his dream of being an international cricketer,” commented CSA Chief Executive Thabang Moroe.
“He was upgraded to a national contract during the current season on the strength of his outstanding performances in our Test squad and we offered him a two-year contract which would have given him financial security through to the end of the 2020-2021 season.
“He was not short of opportunity either as he played in all six Castle Lager Test matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the current summer and was also considered for white ball selection.
“If one looks at the bigger picture this is not good news for the global game either that a player who has just broken into the top 20 on the ICC Test match bowling rankings for the first time should opt effectively to bring down the curtain on his international career in favour of playing only in domestic leagues,” concluded Mr. Moroe.
Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson echoed Moroe’s sentiments.
“We are naturally disappointed with Duanne’s decision to sign a Kolpak contract. He has been a key feature for us this summer and was without a doubt one of our standout performers.
“We held several meetings with him regarding his future with the Proteas throughout the summer and even offered him a two-year contract. To see him cut short a promising international career is disappointing. Ultimately, it was a decision we could not control despite our best efforts.”
CSA expects to announce the contracted Proteas men’s and women’s squads for the next 12 months later this week.
South Africa losing Duanne Olivier in his prime on a Kolpak deal is alarming for the international game. Again highlights the need for centralised payments of international players by the ICC, to stop talent train from all countries that aren't from the Big Three.
— Tim (@timwig) February 26, 2019
Another fine young South African fast bowler, Duanne Olivier, turns his back on South Africa to become a Kolpak player in England for Yorkshire. Eventually, financial and political decisions over-ride sporting decisions.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 26, 2019