Quinton de Kock takes ‘mental health’ break
Published: 12:18 PM, 16 February 2021
South Africa captain Quinton de Kock; Photo: Collected
South Africa captain Quinton de Kock will take a ‘mental health’ break and skip a forthcoming domestic T20 tournament on medical advice.
Andrew Breetzke, chief executive of the SA Cricketers’ Association (SACA), told the ESPNcricinfo that De Kock would take time off “for a few weeks”.
“SACA and Cricket South Africa will continue to support him through this process,” said Breetzke.
Quinton de Kock, South Africa’s cricketer of the year in 2020, returned from Pakistan last week after leading South Africa in two losing Test matches during which he struggled as a batsman and was criticized for his captaincy.
He acknowledged last month he was feeling the strain of living in bio-secure ‘bubbles’ which are a reality for international cricketers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking after captaining South Africa to a home Test series win against Sri Lanka, De Kock questioned the sustainability of ‘bubble’ life which he described as “unsettling”.
He said then that he had mixed feelings about touring Pakistan “due to the frustrations of being confined” to a bio-secure environment.
South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith said earlier on Monday that all of the country’s contracted players would play in the T20 tournament, as well as the remaining matches in a four-day competition.
But it later emerged that De Kock and Faf du Plessis were not in the squads announced by the country’s six franchises. The reasons for Du Plessis’ absence was not known.
All the T20 matches will be played in Durban between February 19 and 29, with players staying in a bio-secure environment.