Bloemfontein, Sep 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) South Africa ODI captain Temba Bavuma said he was not aware of wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock's decision to retire from the format after this year’s ODI World Cup in India.
On Tuesday, after de Kock was named in South Africa’s squad for the Men’s ODI World Cup, Cricket South Africa (CSA) added that the left-handed batter, also slated to open the batting with Bavuma, will retire from the format after the showpiece event. De Kock had announced a sudden retirement from Tests after playing the series opener against India in December 2021.
"I wasn't in the loop, as per his thinking or decision. With Quinny, at times, you can expect anything. It doesn't change how we see the guy. It's always been a pleasure playing with Quinton from our Under-15 days at school. He is an incredible player, talented; too much talent. He will be a big loss to South Africa at least in the ODI stuff," Bavuma was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo ahead of ODI series opener against Australia in Bloemfontein.
Bavuma also revealed that he used to take de Kock's advice over on-field matters in ODIs. "He is one of the guys I lean on from a tactical point of view. Not having him within the space is going to be a bit of a challenge but it's something we will have to overcome," he added.
De Kock’s ODI retirement comes days after he was picked by Melbourne Renegades via BBL overseas draft, meaning he could miss out on the T20I series against India at home in December.
Though de Kock has made only 133 runs in five ODI innings this year, Bavuma stated that de Kock, who is still available for South Africa in T20I format, has been at his jovial best in the team.
"This year is the freest I have ever seen him be in and around the team. He has been a lot more bubblier, always cracking jokes and starting banter within the guys. I guess, maybe he made the decision a long time ago and it was about finding the right time to let everyone know. He has chosen his route, he is going to go the T20 route - the format he has succeeded quite well in. All we can do is wish him the best."
South Africa are yet to win the 50-over World Cup, with their best-ever finish being four-time semi-finalists. They will open their 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup campaign against 1996 champions Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on October 7.
Bavuma signed off by saying South Africa will be motivated to give de Kock a winning send-off from the format. "With everything Quinny has achieved as a player - and the same could be said of a lot of guys within the group of a certain age - we would like to do something that hasn't been done and that's to win the World Cup. There's no better way for him to walk away from South African cricket having done that."