I was pretty shocked and wasn’t aware this was going to happen – Elgar on De Kock’s retirement


Dean Elgar took a serious shock when he come to know that Quinton de Kock announced his immediate retirement from Test cricket after South Africa lost the first Test to India by 113 runs at Centurion on Thursday.

Dean Elgar felt quite shocked when he come to know that Quinton de Kock announced his immediate retirement from Test cricket after South Africa lost the first Test to India by 113 runs at Centurion on Thursday.

Team sources revealed that de Kock talked with all the senior players after the Test match before breaking the news into the dressing room and it seems like the skipper was the only one not granted an individual conversation.

“I was pretty shocked,”

Elgar told an online press conference on Sunday. 

“I wasn’t aware this was going to happen.”

That didn’t mean he took issue with De Kock’s ending his career in the format after 54 matches:

“Sitting down with ‘Quinnie’ that evening, and him explaining to me the reasons for it, I respect his decision and fully understand the space he’s in at the moment. Hopefully, he doesn’t wish one day that he was still part of our red-ball set-up. We have to get over it and move on.”

This wasn’t Elgar’s first retirement rodeo:

“I’ve been fortunate enough to experience quite a few big South African cricketers retire. One thing I’ve realized is that the game of cricket continues. You’re not immortal and the game doesn’t stop for you.”

Dean Elgar made his debut at the WACA in November 2012 and he was one among the players to play with some of the bigger names in the African dressing room including the likes of Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, and Morne Morkel and he witnessed them hanging up their whites in front of him.

“If was up to me I wouldn’t have any of those guys retire,”

Elgar said.

“It’s a tough one, but retirements are part and parcel of the game. Not having ‘Quinnie’ around is disappointing for me. But it’s something I need to get over, because I know there are a lot of talented players within our squad and our system that I need to give a lot of attention to now.”

Quinton de Kock talked about the fact that his impending fatherhood was the major decision of retirement and also that he is having difficulties living in bubbles. Elgar spoke with empathy on those factors.

“People think [playing professional cricket is] glamorous and you live in massive houses and drive nice cars and get free clothing. That is part of it, but the flip side is that it’s extremely demanding on your personal life. If you’re in a relationship it’s extremely difficult, because you spend a lot of time away from home.

“If you play [only] white-ball cricket, you’re away for maybe two months of the year playing in the IPL. If that’s all you do you’ve got 10 months at home for you to be around your loved ones. If you play three or four-Test series that’s potentially six to eight months away from home in a year. So I can understand the toll that takes on you.

“Especially now, when we live in these bubbles. The people who construct them are trying their utmost to make them a lot more layer-friendly, giving us luxuries like living in a hotel on a golf course. That’s an example of giving guys a way out to clear their minds. It has been a struggle for a lot of guys. Putting them into a bubble is not easy.

“This is by no means a bitch or a moan. It’s the reality. We still love what we do, but it is tough on a few guys. Each person is unique and their personalities deal with it differently.”

The 34-year-old confirmed that Kyle Verreynne would replace De Kock in the second Test, which starts at the Wanderers on Monday.