Proteas coach Russell Domingo has confirmed that Duanne Olivier will replace Kyle Abbott in the squad for the next Test in Johannesburg.
Abbott confirmed that he will be leaving the Proteas, having signed a four-year Kolpak deal with Hampshire.
The 24-year-old Olivier is the top wicket-taker in the Sunfoil Series so far with 28 scalps and Domingo expressed his excitement on seeing his potential. Wayne Parnell will, however, remain in the squad.
‘Duanne has had good performances for SA A and I’m excited to see how he does,’ he said
Domingo was deeply disappointed at losing a player of Abbott’s calibre.
‘I had a discussion with Kyle about six to eight months ago to encourage him to hang in there and stay in the system. I told him to be patient and I thought that it had subsided because I hadn’t had the talk with him again until two days ago, so that was also disappointing to me.
‘We weren’t allowed to pitch to him before the decision was made. The whole thing unfolded without us even giving him a sales pitch or pitching to him what we can offer him.’
Domingo was particularly unhappy with the timing of Abbott’s departure, ahead of heavy schedule for the Proteas.
‘Kyle was supposed to take the new ball for us in the championship trophy and in 10 ODIs before the championship trophy. Now who is going to take the new ball? Those are things players need to be aware of.’
Rilee Rossouw has also confirmed that he will be joining Hampshire on a three-year Kolpak deal. Domingo was bitterly disappointed about his decision to move and thought that he dealt with the Rossouw situation fairly and did not like the way he handled the issue in return.
‘I was very disappointed because I haven’t heard from Rilee since we left Australia,’ he said’
‘Someone tried to get hold of him, this is the truth. We got an email from his iPhone on Wednesday; he even spelled my name wrong, he spelled my name with one ‘L’ instead of two,’ he joked
‘I’m very disappointed in him, that’s the honest truth. He toured Australia as the backup Test batsman, he’s played in most of the one-day matches and a lot of T20s.
‘I backed him after five noughts. If it was a person of colour getting five noughts everyone would have said ”transformation”. We saw him as a guy who can play the closest level to AB in the one-day team to anyone else. He’s a guy we invested in heavily and I’m bitterly disappointed in his decision.’
Domingo also confirmed that AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel will play a List-A one-day match for Northerns on 22 January to gain match fitness, but they will not play any part in the four-day Sunfoil series.
‘We will announce a T20 squad [to play Sri Lanka] for the first two T20 games. Hopefully we can work them into the last game in Cape Town before the ODI series.’