What’s the story?
South Africa’s limited-overs squad continues to take a major hit as all-rounder David Wiese signed a three-year Kolpak deal with an English county side (Sussex), following fast bowler Kyle Abbott and batsman Rilee Rossouw in bringing an premature end to their international career.
The 31-year-old all-rounder, who has represented his country 26 times and has played in various domestic competitions around the world, including the IPL, will join Proteas batsman Stiaan van Zyle at Sussex, who signed for the county in November. His agent, Weber van Wyk, is the same one who secured the Kolpak deals for Abbott and Rossouw, who both joined Hampshire.
"I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for giving me the opportunity of fulfilling my lifelong dream of representing my country in the sport I love," Wiese said. "I am very excited to be joining Sussex on a long-term deal. I thoroughly enjoyed my stint with the club last year and it made my decision so much easier when offered to return. Sussex is an extremely ambitious club and I look forward to being part of their future."
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This news just comes hot on the heels of fast bowler Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw announcing their departure from the Proteas set-up, which is a direct result of the controversial quota system which is currently in place and the weakening currency in the country.
While Abbott and Rossouw are both younger than the all-rounder, who is 31, his departure will deprive them of the services of a handy all-rounder who can contribute with both bat and ball and has the experience of playing in nearly 150 T20 matches.
Heart of the matter
Following the exit of Abbott and Rossouw, the news that another player is set to make themselves unavailable for national selection will come as a body blow for South Africa, who are trying their best to rebuild a side that was demolished in their tour of India and has since lost the No.1 Test ranking.
Wiese, played in 26 matches for the Proteas, 20 of which came in the shortest format (T20Is) but the fact that his last appearance was in March 2016 suggests that he has fallen out of favour with the national set-up. But his experience will be a blow to the Proteas, who are still reeling from the loss of two key limited-overs players in Rossouw and Abbott and will have to add Wiese to the list as well.
South Africa are currently playing a Test series against Sri Lanka and folllowing Kyle Abbott’s decision, have brought in an uncapped pacer for the third Test. Wiese, who has proven himself to be an useful white-ball player will be missed in the 3-match T20I series and 5-match ODI series scheduled against Sri Lanka of which he was initially a part of.
South Africa head coach Russell Domingo was already furious with Rilee Rossouw for abandoning ship and signing a Kolpak deal with Hampshire. With Wiese’ deal going through, it will be interesting to see his reaction. The mass exodus of players from the country, especially important ones who still had a big future ahead of them doesn't bode well for South Africa cricket going forward.