Quinton de Kock announces sudden retirement from Tests


Quinton de Kock has announced a sudden retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect. de Kock was due to miss the second and third Tests against India on paternity leave, but has decided to step away from the longest format entirely. He remains available to play white-ball cricket for South Africa.

de Kock, 29, began 2021 as South Africa’s temporary Test captain and ended it by retiring from the format. He led South Africa in four Tests, against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with a 50% win record. South Africa beat Sri Lanka 2-0 at home, but lost in Pakistan by the same margin.

de Kock had expressed concerns with the restrictions of bubble life in the COVID-19 pandemic and was rested from South Africa’s ODIs in Sri Lanka and against Netherlands.

He was also one of several players – all white – who opted not to take a knee when South Africa decided to give their players the option of taking a knee, raising a fist or standing to attention.

He opted for none of those on the first outing where they made gestures for anti-racism, in the West Indies, but raised a three-finger salute in tribute to a friend who had been wounded in Afghanistan and showed his support for rhino conversation.

At the T20 World Cup, when CSA mandated players to take the knee, de Kock initially refused and missed the game against West Indies as a result. He subsequently apologised and has taken the knee since.

de Kock made his Test debut against Australia in 2014 and played 54 Tests, scoring 3,300 runs at an average of 38.82 with six centuries.

His first century came at the same ground he played his last Test – SuperSport Park – when he scored 129* at number seven as South Africa beat England by 280 runs in 2016. He went on to score a match-winning hundred in Hobart later that year, which helped South Africa to a third successive series win in Australia. (ESPNCricinfo)

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