Newly appointed Director of Cricket South Africa Graeme Smith has stated that the Cricketers of South African nationality who are currently playing in the County Championship will be welcomed back with open arms into the national side, as the Kolpak rule is coming to an end.
In a video conference with reporters, the former South African captain said, “With Kolpak coming to an end, I guess the willingness is always to have our best players in the system.”
“It is up to the players to come back into the system and to make decisions on their careers.”
Smith, who has played for County Cricket Club Somerset in 2005, also added, “From our perspective, we want to encourage all our best players to play here domestically, and then give themselves the opportunity to be selected for the national side.”
The loophole currently gives anyone with a work permit from a country that has an associate trading agreement with the European Union the same rights as an EU worker. The South African Cricket team have lost quite a few talented Cricketers in the recent past such as Kyle Abbott, Wayne Parnell, Rilee Roussow and Duanne Olivier. Morne Morkel retired from International Cricket and went to play for Surrey County Cricket Club. The players to have signed lucrative contracts with county cricket sides over the years have automatically been disqualified from playing for the national team. However, the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU means that the Kolpak rule will be abolished as well.
South African Cricket team are going through a rough patch at the moment, as they failed to win a Test series, home or away, in the last year and a half. Due to numerous reasons including the Kolpak deal, South Africa have been unable to field their best 11 on most occasions. The abolishment of the Kolpak rule will do them a world of good, as South Africa would look to dominate Test Cricket once again.