De Kock announces sudden retirement from Test cricket to priortise family

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  • Quinton de Kock
    Quinton de Kock
    South African cricketer

Quinton de Kock has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect to prioritise spending "more time with his growing family".

Wicketkeeper and versatile batter De Kock revealed his decision in the aftermath of a 113-run defeat for South Africa against India in the first Test at Centurion on Thursday.

Across 54 internationals in the longest format, the left-handed De Kock managed 3,300 runs at an average of 38.32, including six centuries and 22 half-centuries for the Proteas.

The 29-year-old registered scores of 34 and 21 against Virat Kohli's side in the three-Test series opener, though he was set to miss the second and third Tests after being granted paternity leave for the birth of his first child.

However, he has opted to entirely step away from red-ball cricket to focus on family life, while remaining available for limited-overs selection for the Proteas.

"This is not a decision that I have come to very easily," De Kock said in a statement issued by Cricket South Africa (CSA). "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.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of my Test cricket journey from the very beginning. To my coaches, team-mates, the various management teams and my family and friends – I couldn't have shown up as I did without your support.

"This is not the end of my career as a Protea, I'm fully committed to white-ball cricket and representing my country to the best of my ability for the foreseeable future.

"All the best to my team-mates for the remainder of this Test series against India. See you in the ODIs and T20s."

Quinton de Kock Test career
Quinton de Kock Test career

De Kock began 2021 as South Africa's temporary Test captain, leading the Proteas against Sri Lanka and Pakistan before being rested for the ODIs against the Netherlands after struggles with COVID-19 bubble life.

He will be sorely missed behind the stumps in the red-ball arena, given he has 232 dismissals – including 221 catches and 11 stumpings – to his name since his Test debut against Australia in 2014.

"It's sad to lose a player of Quinton’s calibre at what we still see as the prime of his career and relatively young life, but family, as we all say here at CSA, is everything," CSA's Acting chief executive officer Pholetsi Moseki added.

"He has been a loyal and proud servant of the Proteas team for the last seven years and we are glad that we have not lost him from the game entirely.

"We value his contribution to the team as a leader and we are grateful for the time and energy that he has given the team in years passed.

"We would like to wish him and Sasha all the best ahead of the birth of their little girl and we are excited to be gaining another member in our cricket family. We look forward to seeing Quinton at his fighting best in white-ball cricket."

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