Retiring de Kock named in South Africa’s pace-heavy Cricket World Cup squad

Temba Bavuma will lead the Proteas while Quinton de Kock will end his ODI career after the tournament in India.

quinton de kock
Quinton de Kock has captained his country's team in all three international formats of the game [File: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]

Quinton de Kock has been selected in South Africa’s 15-man squad for the Cricket World Cup for what will be his last tournament before retiring from one-day internationals (ODIs).

The 30-year-old opener has already quit five-day Test cricket so it leaves him only available for his country in Twenty20 internationals, the shortest format of the game.

The wicketkeeper’s retirement was confirmed on Tuesday at a press conference held to announce the squad for the upcoming tournament hosted by India, starting on October 5.

According to South Africa’s coach Rob Walter, de Kock has “unfinished business” in the format.

“Quinny has been a magnificent player for South Africa in 50-over cricket,” said Walter in backing de Kock to finish his ODI career in style.

De Kock has captained his country’s team in all three international formats of the game.

“We understand his decision to step back from ODI cricket and we want to thank him for his service over the years,” said South Africa’s Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe.

Batter Temba Bavuma will lead the squad in India. Asked about South Africa’s prospects after a pattern of falling short in previous World Cups, he said: “It’s about playing good cricket for a five to seven week period.”

Eight fresh faces in pacer-heavy squad

The Proteas, placed at number six in the International Cricket Council’s ODI team rankings, have included spinner Keshav Maharaj and seamer Sisanda Magala in the squad after the pair overcame fitness concerns.

Maharaj recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon and played for the first time since March in South Africa’s five-wicket Twenty20 loss to Australia on Sunday. Meanwhile, Magala had been laid low by a knee injury and missed that series, but his clever change of pace and guile with the ball will be an asset on Indian wickets.

Walter has included only seven players with past World Cup experience as South Africa seek to lift a trophy that has eluded them in oftentimes bizarre circumstances since they made their debut in 1992. They reached the semifinals in 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2015.

Promising fast bowler Gerald Coetzee, 22, is one of eight players who will be playing in their first World Cup.

He appeared emotional when his name was announced at a ceremony in his hometown.

“It’s great having a mix of experienced players and players who will be competing in their first 50-over World Cup – you get that sort of exuberance of excitement to be doing something for the first time,” Walter said.

“Similar to the level of experience, we have endeavoured to curate a well-balanced group of players and skill that will allow us to effectively adapt to the conditions in India.”

The squad comprises six fast bowlers and two specialist spin bowlers.

“Our strength has been in fast bowling and we want to be able to have four high-quality fast bowlers on the park in most situations,” said Walter.

“That is why we have gone with extra fast bowlers.”

The team begin their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on October 7.

South Africa squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen

Source: News Agencies