Kyle Abbot has played his last international match for South Africa. Faf du Plessis, the South African Test captain confirmed the news after the second Test match against Sri Lanka at Newlands.
The speculations were rife for some days now and they were confirmed when talks between the bowler and Cricket South Africa (CSA) broke down.
“February would be four years since my international debut. Ever since I played in South Africa, at every level, there has always been a quota system. I have never used it as an excuse and I won’t now. I need to pay bills, I need to buy groceries,” Abbott said.
Kyle Abbott has signed a Kolpak deal with English county, Hampshire. This makes him ineligible to play for the Proteas. Rilee Rossouw,who had been an integral part of the one day side in the last year has also signed a Kolpak deal and will not be eligible to play for South Africa. This is a massive jolt to South African cricket.
Cricket South Africa has been marred by political controversies over the past few years. Abbott had to be left out of the 2015 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in favour of an under-performing Vernon Philander to fulfil the necessary racial quota in the playing XI. The South Africans lost the semifinal and CSA had to face immense criticism for its policy from all over the world.
Kyle Abbott has enjoyed a good run with the South African national team. He was a member of the playing XI in their current series against Sri Lanka and played against Australia earlier this season. But he was left out of the side for quite a while prior to that. The 29-year-old fast bowler has played only 10 Tests for South Africa since making his debut in March 2013.
Abbott will not be seen playing for South Africa again. His last Test match in the South African whites was the second Test against Sri Lanka which finished today. South Africa has tough tours of England and New Zealand later this year and the team management will want to have a look at other available fast bowling options to replace Abbott. South Africa do have Wayne Parnell as a reserve seamer in the squad for the third match of the series against Sri Lanka.