“How can you sign a Kolpak?”- Faf du Plessis after Duanne Olivier’s decision to sign the deal

"It reminds me of Kyle Abbott two-three years ago."

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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The much-cursed Kolpak deal has turned out to be a massive detriment in South African cricket over the past few years. The Proteas have lost quite a few talented cricketers to it, the latest of them being fast bowler Duanne Olivier. Last week, the 26-year-old dropped the bombshell that he had signed a three-year Kolpak contract with Yorkshire, a team in England’s domestic cricket.

Olivier was one of South Africa’s leading bowlers this season, especially Test cricket. The Groblersdal-born was the leading wicket-taker in the three-match series against Pakistan where he notched 24 wickets at an incredible average of 14.70. The seamer didn’t flatter to deceive in the two-match series against Sri Lanka as well as the speedster finished with seven wickets.

In the meantime, Faf du Plessis, the Proteas’ skipper, isn’t a happy man by any means and reckons that Duanne was one of their leading bowlers. “Duanne put himself to be one of the three top seamers in our team. Once again, it’s the timing that disappoints me most, it reminds me of Kyle Abbott two-three years ago,” Du Plessis was quoted as saying in www.sport24.co.za.

“I care for the players when they earn their spot in the team, you want them to run with it for a while and get the best out of themselves from an international point of view. It’s a case of playing a couple of Test matches and was then out of the Test team – understandably so because the top dogs were back. I think in that period, your decision-making progress starts happening,” he remarked.

We as South African cricket lose a great bowler

Du Plessis was also surprised by the decision as the bowler had done well of late in international cricket. “You look at the last month or two and we go: ‘How can you sign a Kolpak? You’re playing and doing well?’ But I think his decision-making happened a lot sooner than that.

What unfolded this summer was great for him but by then he was already – without us knowing – halfway committed there. Every guy makes that decision based on his personal reasons, I do understand why he has done it. But once again, we as South African cricket lose a great bowler,” he added.

Earlier, it was reported that Olivier’s contract is worth R2.7 million per season and it dwarfs the two-year R900 000 per season contract offered to him by Cricket South Africa (CSA).

In 10 Tests for his country, Duanne picked up 48 wickets with best bowling figures of 6/37 against Pakistan. In January, the speedster also made his ODI debut and went on to play two matches in the five-match series that the hosts won 3-2.

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