South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has admitted that the allure of money from T20 leagues played a role in his recent decision to retire from ODI cricket. De Kock made this revelation himself.
“I’m not going to sit here and deny it doesn’t factor in. It does influence my decision. I’ve been part of the cricket scene for 10 or 11 years, and I’ve tried to maintain my loyalty to the team, which I believe I’ve done quite well. I think I’ve represented the Proteas badge with distinction throughout my career,” ESPNCricinfo quoted De Kock as saying.
“As for T20 events, I won’t deny that there’s a substantial financial incentive, especially as you near the end of your career. Any ordinary person would consider it. If I were not that loyal, I might have made this decision five years ago when T20 cricket really took off. Now, being older and nearing the twilight of my career, it feels like the right time,” he explained.
The 2023 World Cup in India will mark De Kock’s final appearance in the 50-over format, after which he intends to focus solely on T20 cricket tournaments worldwide.
A powerful hitter
Known for his lightning-quick reflexes behind the wickets and his ferocious batting style, De Kock has been a part of the South African team for 11 years, debuting in 2014. His career reached new heights following the 2015 World Cup.
He quickly rose through the ranks, particularly excelling in white-ball cricket. De Kock has represented South Africa in 145 ODI matches, amassing 6176 runs at an impressive average of 44.75. He has also participated in 80 T20I games, scoring 2277 runs at an average of 32.52.
De Kock bid farewell to Test cricket in 2021, citing the desire to spend more time with his family and focus solely on white-ball cricket. His decision to retire from the ODI format isn’t surprising, considering his continued commitment to T20 cricket.
De Kock has ambitious plans, including playing in the Australian T20 League Big Bash League (BBL) in December of this year. He also remains a star player for the Indian Premier League (IPL) team, Lucknow SuperGiants.
De Kock isn’t alone
Times have changed, and many cricketers today are gravitating toward shorter formats of the game to maximize their earnings. For instance, Indian cricketers like Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, and Unmukt Chand opted for early retirements to participate in T20 leagues worldwide.
The same trend extends to Pakistani cricketers, including Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz, who left the national cricket team to pursue opportunities in T20 tournaments.
These leagues not only offer a platform for cricketers who miss out on national teams but also provide them with substantial financial security.