Rilee Rossouw criticised for quitting South Africa for Hampshire
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 06/01/17 10:11am
South Africa coach Russell Domingo has slammed Rilee Rossouw for quitting international cricket to join Hampshire.
One-day batting star Rossouw and Test fast bowler Kyle Abbott have both quit South Africa to join Hampshire on Kolpak deals, ending their international careers in the process.
Domingo had particularly harsh words for Rossouw, saying he was on the brink of being included in the Test side.
He said: "We got an email off his iPhone yesterday telling us he has signed Kolpak. He spelt my name wrong for starters - he put one 'l' instead of two. So that's where we are. I'm very disappointed in him.
"He toured Australia as the back-up Test batsman, he was the next batsman in. He's played in most of the one-dayers and a lot of T20s. He's a guy we backed after five noughts (early in his international career).
"We said this is a guy who can play the closest level to AB de Villiers in the one-day teams. We invested massively in him and we're very disappointed in his decision."
CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the decisions meant it was "a disappointing day not just for South African cricket but also for international cricket".
"Regrettably we have no option but to severe our ties with both Abbott and Rossouw as they are no longer available for South Africa," said Lorgat.
"It is a disappointing day not just for South African cricket but also for international cricket as these players have given up their opportunity to be seen in action on the international circuit.
"Both Rilee and Kyle have been given opportunities over the past year to play at the highest level and were firmly in our plans for the future.
"We have encouraged Rilee and Kyle to reconsider their decisions but both have indicated that they wish to take up Kolpak contracts. While this is a loss for South African cricket we can only wish them well with their overseas careers."
Abbott said in a statement released by CSA: "Making the decision to commit my long-term future to Hampshire was undoubtedly the most difficult one I have ever had to make and I leave with more than a little sadness knowing that I won't represent the Proteas again.
"Representing my country was undoubtedly the biggest honour in my career and I am very thankful for the opportunity to have represented South Africa and the Proteas."
Left-hander Rossouw, 27, said: "Deciding to leave South Africa is something I have thought long and hard about and moving to England will give me and my family the long-term career security that I believe is important at this stage of my life.
"I have loved representing the Proteas and will watch from afar with great affection every time they take the field from now on but I am hugely dedicated to making Hampshire cricket successful on the field."