Domingo: Kolpak deals can be a good thing

2017-01-07 09:20
Russell Domingo (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas coach Russell Domingo believes that Kolpak deals can be a good thing for South African cricket in certain instances and when handled the right way. 

South African cricket this week received a double blow with the news that both Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw had signed long-term Kolpak deals with English county side Hampshire. 

As a result, they have been lost to the Proteas for the duration of their Hampshire deals. 

Domingo had lashed out at Rossouw, in particular, at Newlands on Thursday for the way the 27-year-old batsman had carried himself over the past few weeks.

According to Domingo, nobody at Cricket South Africa (CSA) had been able to get hold of Rossouw for a number of weeks while the player also informed the coach of his new deal via e-mail. 

Domingo was less critical of Abbott, but also expressed disappointment in his decision given that the 29-year-old has become South Africa's new ball bowler in all three formats. 

While the possibility of more players leaving on Kolpak deals is a certainly frightening for South Africa, Domingo does believe that there are instances in which they can benefit both the player and South African cricket. 

Domingo pointed to the Kolpak deal that Proteas captain Faf du Plessis took with Lancashire back in 2008 as an example. 

More recent Proteas to take Kolpak deals include spinner Simon Harmer (Essex), batsman Stiaan van Zyl (Sussex) and quick Hardus Viljoen (Derbyshire). 

Domingo said that, in some cases, taking the deal made perfect sense in that a player could master his craft in England and return to South Africa a better player. 

In Abbott's case, however, Domingo said that as unlikely given his age. 

In stark contrast to how he feels about Rossouw, Domingo said he was happy with the way the likes of Harmer went about signing their Kolpak deals. 

"Harmer (27) spoke to me. I have a lot of respect for him, he sat down with me," Domingo said.

"And it was probably in his best interests.

"Simon is still a young off-spinner and we’ve got a few spinning options around at the moment.

"It’s a great opportunity … go and learn your trade in England and come back when you’re 29 or 30. Simon Harmer could be better."

Domingo added that Van Zyl, currently 29, could also return a better batsman. 

It is clear, though, that both Domingo and CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat would prefer to be a part of the conversations before any drastic deals are signed. 

Still, the coach does understand the need for security.

"I don’t know if trust has been broken. You can understand players wanting to feel secure. Everyone wants to feel secure," he said.

"The coach wants a four-year contract, the captain wants to know that he’ll be captaining for four years … that’s just the general nature of people.

"There are obviously issues that haven’t been discussed or that players haven’t opened up about or haven’t been sincere about."


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