The South African Proteas have just suffered a terrible defeat in a shambolic series in Ranchi. Their performance with both bat and ball was disappointing to say the very least, and throughout the three Tests, they were outplayed. These most recent stats reflect the worst in South African cricket history since 1992 when they returned to the international playing field. Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis is now grasping at Brexit as their hope to rebuild the once active Proteas to former glory.
Du Plessis believes that when Brexit finally comes into place and Britain withdraws from the European Union; they will enforce must stricter immigration controls in the country. This will result in fewer South Africans being able to leave our local sports scene and thus fewer South African cricketers in the County Championship. For some, this might seem like grasping at straw, yet we need to take note of the fact that more than 60 players from around the globe have already obtained residency in Europe and thus could join the teams in their new country of residence. As soon as that they have residency in a specific country, they are no longer regarded as foreign players.
The Kolpak Accord
The Kolpak accord came into place through a court ruling in 2003 in favour of a Slovakian handball player, Maros Kolpak. The decision determined that citizens of any country in the world have the freedom to move and work anywhere within the EU once they signed European Union Association Agreements. Thus then players couldn’t play for their home countries anymore. If the current Brexit plans go ahead, Britain will be out of the EU, and the Kolpak accord will come to an end in 2021 for cricketers. Du Plessis himself was also part of the same system while playing in England. He also referred to Simon Harmer playing for Essex for the past two years already and who hasn’t been in action for South Africa already since 2015.
When Brexit comes into place, and the Kolpak accord resolves, South Africa will be able to pick some of our South African players again to represent our national team, even if they are currently playing overseas. Now, according to Du Plessis, our best players leave the country and then the Proteas have to represent South African cricket with players who aren’t the best we have to show the world. Two such players who are greatly missed on our side are Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn. He stated that these guys not only delivered great play, but they provided a solid learning foundation for young and upcoming talent.
Currently, the South African team needs to go through a phase of a rebuild, and Du Plessis has hope. He is very positive about the prospects of Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock. The rebuild process will just run much smoother if the new talent can grow under the experienced hands of some of these great players no longer available to SA.