Cape Town - Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw will both leave South Africa to take Kolpak deals with English county side Hampshire.
This was confirmed after the completion of the second Test in Cape Town, which saw the Proteas comprehensively beat Sri Lanka by 282 runs.
There had been speculation throughout the Test match after the news on Abbott initially broke, but Thursday's announcement did come as somewhat of a shock given how well Abbott has been bowling and how valuable a member of the South African bowling line-up he has become.
The 29-year-old addressed media at Newlands, but his skipper Faf du Plessis had earlier confirmed that Abbott had played his last Test match for the Proteas before leaving.
"It's been one of the hardest decisions of my life," Abbott said.
Du Plessis confirmed that Abbott would not be a part of the squad that does battle against Sri Lanka in the third Test in Johannesburg starting on January 12.
Du Plessis added that he and other members of the Proteas squad had tried to convince Abbott to stay in South Africa during the Cape Town Test match, but that Abbott's mind was made up.
Abbott has played 11 Test matches since making his debut against Pakistan back in 2013 at Centurion.
He took nine wickets in that match, but had to wait longer than a year before he was awarded a second cap.
According to a statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA), Rossouw will be joining Abbott at Hampshire.
"I have loved representing the Proteas and will watch from afar with great affection every time they take the field from now on but I am hugely dedicated to making Hampshire cricket successful on the field," Rossouw said in a statement.
"I would like to express my thanks to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity to represent my country and also for the Knights for their continued support."
CSA president Haroon Lorgat confirmed that Abbott's national contract had been terminated and that Rossouw's was in the process of being terminated.
Lorgat also pointed to the money that CSA had spent on Rossouw during his injury lay-off.
"From CSA’s perspective it is a loss as we invest
immeasurable amounts which include premium time, finance, technical, high
performance coaching followed by development tours and providing general player
welfare over a long period of time," said Lorgat.
"By way of example, Rilee has spent a
lengthy period on the injury list while we spared no expense in providing him
with the best medical support."
Rossouw's deal with Hampshire is for three years, while Abbott confirmed his is for four years.