South Africa

Coach calls De Kock ‘a magnificent player’ after calling time on ODI career

South Africa coach Rob Walter said on Tuesday that Quinton de Kock has “unfinished business” after it was announced that the wicketkeeper will retire from one-day international cricket after the World Cup, which starts in India on October 5.

De Kock’s pending retirement was revealed during the announcement of South Africa’s 15-man squad in Bloemfontein, where South Africa start a five-match ODI series against Australia on Thursday.

‘Magnificent player’

“Quinny has been a magnificent player for South Africa in 50-over cricket,” said Walter in backing De Kock, 30, to finish his ODI career in style.

De Kock will play in Australia’s Big Bash League in December, which will clash with a one-day series against India.

A former captain in all three international formats, De Kock retired from Test cricket in 2022.

De Kock will remain available for T20 internationals.

Walter said there was “still water to go under the bridge” regarding De Kock’s availability for a T20I series against India, which will precede the ODI series.

“In the ever-changing world of cricket there is going to be an inevitable clash between leagues and international cricket,” said Walter.

“If we aren’t flexible we are going to lose players from the international game.”

Coetzee’s got ‘fire in his belly’

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 home town.

“He’s got fire in his belly,” said Walter.

Fellow fast bowler Sisanda Magala, who had not initially been named in an 18-man squad for the series against Australia, was selected after struggling with a left knee injury.

South Africa named six fast bowlers in their squad and only 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.”

South Africa’s first World Cup match will be against Sri Lanka in Delhi on October 7.

ALSO READ: Proteas searching for ‘cohesion and synergy’ at World Cup, says Bavuma