Former Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith has admitted his surprise and disappointment in hearing that fast bowler Dane Paterson will soon sign a Kolpak deal.
Earlier this month it was reported that Paterson is in the process of signing a Kolpak deal, but was awaiting approval from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
According to English media the 31-year-old is set to sign for Nottinghamshire.
Paterson has played 2 Tests, 4 ODIs and 8 T20s for the Proteas since making his debut in 2017.
His last appearance for South Africa came in two Tests against England earlier this year.
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Smith, who was confirmed as Cricket South Africa's (CSA) full-time Director of Cricket, admitted that despite talks with Paterson, there wasn't anything CSA could do.
"Having been a part of the Dane Paterson conversation, I think a lot of this lies with the Cape Cobras... we were almost attempted to be pushed to giving him a national contract and it was taken to the selectors. They felt that Dane wasn't in that discussion and then it falls on the franchises to then handle the contract discussion (with Dane)," Smith told reporters in a video press conference.
"His previous contract has always been with the Cobras so I don't understand why.
"The national process has been the same for a number of years and he hasn't had a national contract. Maybe he created an expectation of being a part of the Test squad," said Smith.
"There hasn't been enough communication from him, which has been disappointing. We don't want to lose players. With Kolpak deals coming to an end (this year), it was a surprising decision for me."
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Meanwhile, interim CSA CEO Jacques Faul reiterated that there was not much that they could do to keep players.
"People leave on their own accord, nobody forces a player to take a contract abroad," said Faul.
"I'm not sure what we can do on a national side, you can communicate with them and indicate that they are in consideration, but it is difficult to give guarantees on playing. We all want to retain the best players for South Africa..."
England's decision to leave the European Union will reportedly nullify Kolpak deals beyond December 2020.
This could see English county sides only signing two overseas players in all domestic formats.
The County Championship has been postponed until at least 28 May due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Compiled by Lynn Butler