Marchant de Lange latest South African to take the Kolpak route
What’s the story
Marchant de Lange is set to join the likes of Rilee Rossouw and Kyle Abbott after opting for a Kolpak deal. He will represent Glamorgan, with the talks between the English county and the South African bowler having reached an advanced stage.
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The 26-year old, who used to be a javelin thrower before he took to cricket, has represented South Africa in a total of twelve international games: two Tests, four ODIs and six T20Is. Injuries played their part in truncating the promising career of the right arm pacer, who last represented the Proteas in an ODI against England in 2016.
Rilee Rossouw and Kyle Abbott are some of the other South Africans who have taken the Kolpak route, unhappy with the limited opportunities they were receiving in the South African setup.
The heart of the matter
Experienced players with age not on their side, or those who are out of national reckoning, take the Kolpak route to resurrect their careers and make some financial gains while not letting go of the game they love. Abbott and Rossouw have made long term deals with English county, Hampshire, and are most likely to never play for South Africa again.
South Africa have been dealt a huge blow with the heavy Kolpak efflux, with several established players, on whom the board had invested over a period of time, moving to greener pastures.
“We invest huge sums of money in every individual, and if you take Rilee by way of an example, I don’t know how many months we have been treating his injuries and investing in him,” CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, had said a few days back.
The focus now shifts on other players who might be looking to make a move. Some of the players, such as right arm spinner Dane Piedt, have assured the Board that they don’t intend to leave South Africa.
For players like Wiese, who is already 31, a Kolpak move means an end to their international career, with the Board making sure that those who seal a deal with English counties won’t be allowed to return to play for the Proteas.
The transformation policies have been a major cause of debate in the South African cricketing circles, and now with the Kolpak aspect in consideration too, the rule to play six coloured players in the team has spelled doom on many talented players. In one way, the decision of white players to turn towards more promising financial opportunities and feed their families cannot be ignored, the long term benefits of the transformation rules should also be considered. The onus is now on the Board to find a middle path.
Also read: Kolpak and talent exodus in South Africa