CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA (CSA) announced today that the national contract of Kyle Abbott has been terminated by mutual agreement with immediate effect.
This follows the recent confirmation by Abbott that he has committed to take up a Kolpak contract at the start of the forthcoming England season.
CSA is in the process of following similar process with batsman, Rilee Rossouw, who has also committed to a Kolpak contract
Neither player will henceforth be considered for any future national selection.
“Regrettably we have no option but to severe our ties with both Abbott and Rossouw as they are no longer available for South Africa,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon 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.
“From CSA’s perspective it is a loss as we invest immeasurable amounts which include premium time, finance, technical, high performance coaching followed by development tours and providing general player welfare over a long period of time. By way of example, Rilee has spent a lengthy period on the injury list while we spared no expense in providing him with the best medical support.
“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. Whilst this is a loss for South African cricket we can only wish them well with their overseas careers.
“We will continue to invest heavily in our local talent and provide opportunities for those individuals who wish to realize their dream of playing for their country; we will not contract players who do not commit to play for South Africa,” concluded Mr. Lorgat.
Abbott admitted he was looking forward to the new chapter in his career.
"I am delighted to be joining Hampshire for the 2017 season onwards," he said in a statement. "I have an extremely strong affection with the club given my previous stints there and can’t wait to get the ball in my hand at the start of the season.
"Giles White looks to be building a strong squad and I am confident we can have a much improved showing in Division 1 this season and push for white ball silverware as well.
"I would also like to express my thanks to Cricket South Africa and the Warriors for their understanding during this process. 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."
Rossouw was also looking ahead to life in England.
"I can confirm that I have agreed and signed a three-year deal with Hampshire Cricket," he added in a statement. "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. I would like to express my thanks to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity to represent my country and also for the Knights for their continued support.
"The move to England and Hampshire Cricket is one that I can’t wait to get underway. I have come close to playing county cricket a couple of times in the past and it is a challenge most cricketers want to take on at some stage in their careers and I am delighted it is at a county with as strong pedigree as Hampshire."