CAPE TOWN, (Reuters) – David Wiese became the latest South African cricketer to forego future national team selection after signing a so-called Kolpak contract to compete in county cricket and bringing to an abrupt end to his international limited overs career.
The 31-year-old fast bowler has played 20 T20 matches for South Africa and six one-day internationals but is no longer eligible to play for his country after penning a three year deal with Sussex.
A player becomes eligible for a Kolpak deal when he gives up the right to play for his country and is not classed as an overseas player in country cricket.
Last week, South Africa’s Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw caused a storm when they quit the international arena to sign for Hampshire on Kolpak contracts.
The contracts are named after a Slovak handball player who won a ruling that gives anyone with a work permit from a country which has an associate trading agreement with the European Union the same rights as an EU worker.
The exodus of cricketers and rugby players from South Africa to Europe for better paying careers is a rapidly growing problem for both sports, who struggle to hang on to their players because of the weakness of the South African rand.
Abbott, Rossouw and Wiese have all fallen out of selection for South Africa’s T20 side, which was named by Cricket South Africa yesterday.
Farhaan Berhardien was appointed stand-in captain and six uncapped players were named in the squad to play Sri Lanka later this month as South Africa rest senior players.
Berhardien takes over from Faf du Plessis as skipper for the first two games in the three-match series which takes place on Jan. 20 (Pretoria), Jan. 22 (Johannesburg) and Jan. 25 (Cape Town). A captain for the third game will be named later.
Du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada are among those being rested as South Africa have a heavy programme of tests and limited overs matches this year.
“This is the last chance we have to (rest players) as the ODI series that follows (the three T20 internationals) is an important part of our build-up to the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in England in the middle of the year,” said selection convener Linda Zondi.
The six new caps in the T20 format are Jon-Jon Smuts, Theunis de Bruyn, Mangaliso Mosehle, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dane Paterson and Lungi Ngidi.
Farhaan Behardien (capt), Theunis de Bruyn, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heino Kuhn, David Miller, Mangaliso Mosehle, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo and Jon-Jon Smuts.