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Ken Borland

We have seen the last of De Kock in Test cricket

Posted on February 02, 2022 by Ken

He was always going to miss the next two Tests against India on paternity leave, but it was confirmed on Thursday night that we have seen the last of Quinton de Kock in Test cricket as the wicketkeeper/batsman announced his retirement from the format.

The 29-year-old made relatively minor contributions with the bat – scoring 34 and 21 – in his final Test as South Africa lost by 113 runs at Centurion on Thursday. It leaves De Kock with a Test record of 3300 runs in 54 matches at an average of 38.82, with six centuries and 22 fifties.

As designated wicketkeeper, that average goes up to 40.12 and of all the glovemen in Test history who have scored more than 2000 runs, only countryman AB de Villiers (57.41), Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower (53.70), Australia’s Adam Gilchrist (47.60), Englishmen Les Ames (43.40) and Matt Prior (40.18), and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara (40.48) have averaged more.

De Kock’s reason for retirement is his family, with he and his wife Sasha expecting their first child in the New Year.

“This is not a decision that I have come to very easily,” De Kock said in a statement. “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,” De Kock said.

De Kock had the sort of batting x-factor you just can’t buy and was certainly one of the most feared South African batsmen.

But De Kock seemed to be getting worn down by the grind of Test cricket, especially the new normal of bio-secure bubbles, not helped by a fairly disastrous time when he had the captaincy thrust upon him.

If this decision buys De Kock more time in limited-overs cricket – he says he remains fully-committed to the white-ball game – then it will be worth it for the Proteas.

Kyle Verreynne, who has already played two Tests, is the likely successor behind the stumps for the Test team, with Ryan Rickelton waiting in the wings and Heinrich Klaasen another gloveman who has had a taste of Test cricket in the last couple of years.

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