South African skipper Quinton de Kock will take a 'mental health' break and skip the upcoming CSA T20 tournament on medical advice. The wicketkeeper-batsmen has been granted a break and will aim to be ready for the Pakistan white-ball series at home in April.
Andrew Breetzke, the South African Cricketers Association CEO, told a media outlet:
"On medical advice, Quinton will be on a break for a few weeks. SACA and Cricket South Africa will continue to support him through this process."
The last year has been a difficult one for players given the pandemic and the need to remain inside bio-bubbles. This adjustment has caused a lot of stress in players and backroom staff. Quinton de Kock also took up the additional responsibility of captaining the Test team in a temporary capacity while already leading the white-ball sides.
De Kock is the team's first-choice wicketkeeper across all formats of the game and among the senior-most batsmen in the side. His form took a significant dip, and this could have been due to the added burden of captaining the Test side.
Since cricket resumed following the COVID-19 pandemic, Quinton de Kock has been a part of several tournaments. The South African played in the IPL, South Africa's series against England (which ended early due to COVID-19 concerns), the Test series against Sri Lanka and the team's most recent trip to Pakistan.
Cricket South Africa's director of cricket Graeme Smith confirmed earlier this week that all nationally contracted players will have to play in the domestic T20 competition this month. However, Quinton De Kock and Faf du Plessis were given an exemption and were not named in any of the teams.
While Quinton De Kock has been given a 'mental health' break, the reason for Faf du Plessis's exclusion isn't known. The former skipper and CSK batsman announced early this morning that he is retiring from Test cricket but said he would focus on the shortest format of the game.