South Africa seems all set for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India. The Proteas side recently defeated Australia (3-2) in a five-match ODI series despite losing the opening two games and made a strong statement to the rival teams ahead of the world event. While South African fans are happy with their team’s dominant performance, they are also a bit emotional with the showpiece event coming closer, as it will mark an end to one of their best wicketkeeper, Quinton de Kock‘s ODI career.
Quinton de Kock’s ODI retirement announcement
A few weeks back, cricket fans around the world were taken aback when De Kock announced that he’ll retire from ODIs after the 2023 World Cup in India. De Kock’s decision came as a surprise, considering his exceptional skills and invaluable contributions to the South African national team. It is worth mentioning that the 30-year-old has already retired from the Test format two years ago. However, he has now confirmed that he’ll keep representing South Africa in the T20I format and even revealed the underlying motivation behind his sudden retirement call in a recent interview.
De Kock admits the lure of T20 league money played a part in his ODI retirement call
In the revealing conversation, De Kock openly acknowledged that the prospect of financial gain in T20 leagues played a significant role in his retirement decision and highlighted the fact that T20 events offer substantial financial rewards, making them an attractive option for players nearing the end of their careers.
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After acknowledging the lure of T20 riches, De Kock further asserted that he had always been loyal to the South African national team and emphasized that he maintained that over the years, giving his all to the team over the past decade.
“I am not going to sit here and deny that it doesn’t. It helps with my decision. I’ve been around for 10 or 11 years and I’ve tried to keep my loyalty to the team, which I think I’ve done really well. I think I have represented the Proteas badge very well over my career,” De Kock was quoted saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“T20 events – I am not going to deny that there is a lot of money and coming to the end of your career, guys want to get their final top-up before their career finishes. Any normal person would do it anyway. If I was really not that loyal I would have done it five years ago when it really took off. Now I am older and with me coming to the down slope of my career, it’s time,” he added.
The influence of senior players
He even reminisced about the early years of his career when players like AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy provided guidance and support, asserting that these senior players allowed him to play his natural game without the burden of excessive pressure.
“When I was younger, it was easier because they knew what I could do and we had senior guys like AB ( AB de Villiers), Hash (Hashim Amla), Faf ( Faf du Plessis) and JP ( JP Duminy). They just let me play. They didn’t try and stop me and said I must just keep being aggressive. Over time it’s changed. Somehow, I try to play a situation that has been put before us,” De Kock emphasized.