Test captaincy too much for me to handle: Quinton De Kock
South Africa’s limited-overs skipper Quinton de Kock didn’t want Test captaincy as “extra pressure” of leading the team in traditional format would have been “too much stress” for the wicketkeeper batsman.
De Kock, 27, had replaced Faf du Plessis as ODI skipper in January this year with South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith announcing in April that the wicketkeeper batsman would not be elevated to Test captaincy. De Kock said he had a discussion regarding this with coach Mark Boucher.
“Me and Bouch had a very informal chat and I told him, look, I don’t know how I feel about being Test captain also. The reality is that’s just too much for me to handle. I know that and I realise that. I don’t need all that stress on myself,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“I could see from a mile away that I didn’t need that on top of my shoulders. I’m wanting to come up the order in Test cricket and so I don’t need all that extra pressure.”
With the coronavirus forcing a cricket shutdown in March, De Kock has not hit a ball in over three months. The wicket-keeper batsman said he will hit the nets only when “serious cricket” resumes even though Cricket South Africa (CSA) has received the go-ahead from the country’s Sports Ministry to resume players’ training.
“I haven’t done anything. Obviously, I’ve kept up with fitness. I’ve done my training in the gym but I haven’t hit a ball yet,” said de Kock, who was named the men’s ‘cricketer of the year’ at Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) annual awards ceremony, held virtually, on Saturday.
“There’s still so much time until the next serious cricket game is going to happen. So to go back to serious training, I don’t know when it needs to happen. I mean, you can go back to hitting balls, for now. But we could actually be hitting balls for no reason. That’s where I feel I’m at.”
De Kock old will have to turn up for the ‘3TCricket’ competition on July 18, which would mark the resumption of live cricket in South Africa following the coronavirus-forced break The Solidarity Cup will see 24 of South Africa’s top cricketers feature in three teams - The Eagles, Kingfishers and The Kites - playing two halves in a single match.
De Kock, who is due to captain The Kites, was also part of the 45-man high performance squad, who were asked to return to training at their franchise grounds last Monday. However, the skipper said he hasn’t done it yet.
“Because of the regulations, it’s hard to have such a big squad in a certain environment,” he said. “I’m based in a very remote place. There’s not much cricket around where I live. I’ve made sure my fitness is up to date. Practice almost becomes muscle memory. For me, at this point in my career, a break is more important than training.”
De Kock said he needed “little bit of lockdown” to do his “own thing”. “I’m sure other guys have trained, but I kind of needed a little bit of lockdown. I needed a break to spend time with myself, my family, friends. You know, do my own thing,” he said.
“But as soon as we get the full go-ahead, when serious cricket is going to happen, then I’ll get back into it. I’m not too sure when it’s going to happen, but as soon as we get the go ahead then I’ll get back into it.”