Cape Town - Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis has labelled Kyle Abbott's sudden retirement from international cricket as a "red flag" and does not agree with his decision.
After the Proteas thrashed the Sri Lankans before lunch on day four in the second Test at Newlands, it was Abbott's decision to sign with English county Hampshire on a Kolpak deal that clouded over their series victory.
READ: Abbott: I feared being dropped for four years
A concerned Du Plessis addressed the media and touched on Abbott's call to end his international cricketing career.
"I was very surprised, six months ago I could've understood it more, but sitting here today - I don't," said Du Plessis.
"We know Kyle and we respect him for what has done for his team. I respect his decision, but I don't agree with it.
"He is a massive loss... I want Kyle to play for South Africa, but if he is not going to be a part of our team, we have to move on."
Speculation of Abbott's move to Hampshire broke on Tuesday, day two of the second Test, which was something Du Plessis and his charges found hard to shut out despite the ongoing talks in the dressing room.
"We got together," said the Proteas skipper.
"We spoke to Kyle and tried to change his mind, but he was set and it was for me to make sure that the team was back on track and that all our focus was back into winning this Test match. And the guys were brilliant."
Du Plessis described the fast bowlers retirement from international cricket as a warning sign to not only the team, but for Cricket South Africa (CSA).
"I suppose this creates an opportunity for us to learn from it and to make sure that something like this doesn't happen too often and make sure CSA keep their best players," said Du Plessis.
"This is definitely a red flag to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"Every single reason that is causing players to leave is something that is a concern."