AB downplays Kolpak threat

AB de Villiers (Getty Images)
AB de Villiers (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Proteas ODI skipper AB de Villiers has brushed off any concerns that South African cricket is under threat of players signing Kolpak deals.

Over the recent months, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have lost several Proteas including David Wiese, Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw, Colin Ingram, Stiaan van Zyl, Simon Harmer, Dane Vilas and Hardus Viljoen to Kolpak deals,

Leading up to the three-ODI series against England, the Proteas played two warm-up matches and faced former Proteas in Van Zyl for Sussex and Rory Kleinveldt for Northamptonshire.

De Villiers downplayed any distress over the player exodus in England saying that although it has effected South Africa's depth, there is nothing they can do about it.

"It is part and parcel of what we are confronted with in recent times," De Villiers told reporters on Tuesday.

"We can't stop guys from going where they want to go and playing cricket where they want to play.

"I feel it's something of the past and I think it's very important for the team to focus on the big series coming up. We have no reason not to be confident after beating the Aussies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

"We're not harping too much on what we lost and are rather focussed on what we've gained over the last few months.

"Yes, there are quite a few talented players that we've lost, which isn't good for our depth, but once again there's nothing we can do about it."

De Villiers believes CSA's new T20 Global Destination League will secure players and provide incentives for them to stay in South Africa. 

"The T20 Global tournament will make a big difference in keeping guys over there, but I believe the system has been put in place to make sure that the guys stay at home," he said.

The first ODI between England and South Africa gets underway on Wednesday at 15:00 (SA time).

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England 219
Pakistan 326 & 137/8 (44 ov)
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England 219
Pakistan 326 & 137/8 (44 ov)
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