South Africa quick Kagiso Rabada has been suggested as a possible county signing © Gallo Images
While Kagiso Rabada‘s workload will be managed in the limited-overs series against England, he may not be able to enjoy as much of a winter break as his team-mates. Rabada is being primed for a short county stint of around six weeks, a move endorsed by his national coach Russell Domingo.
“It will benefit him massively,” Domingo said. “He is still a young boy. He hasn’t played a lot of four-day cricket and South Africa tour England in 2017 – there is a big series there with Tests and a Champions Trophy – so whatever experience he can get beforehand will be beneficial for him and the team. I think it’s a very good idea.”
Rabada has played just 20 first-class matches in South Africa, including three Tests during the England series, but already holds two records. Last February, his 14 for 105 were the best bowling figures in franchise history, bettering the 14 for 110 taken by Dale Steyn seven seasons before. And last week, Rabada’s 13 in Centurion equalled the most wickets taken by a South African in a Test.
He was the leading wicket-taker overall in the recently completed four-Test series against England, which immediately prompted questions over whether he was considering a county future. At the conclusion of the Centurion Test, Rabada said he would consider doing “anything that benefits my game” in the near future. He has not entered the IPL auction and and there is a suggestion a trip to the UK would be better for him at this stage.
His agent has been in contact with several counties with details of Rabada’s availability but most have either already agreed their overseas signings, want someone for the full season or are looking for a batsman. An exception is Durham, who may lose the services of Australia quick John Hastings due to a shoulder injury that requires surgery and could look to Rabada for some bolstering.
They, too, are wary of his workload though, according to Durham’s head coach, Jon Lewis. “I’m hugely impressed with his performances against England,” Lewis told the Newcastle Chronicle. “If I was Cricket South Africa I would be very careful with him. I would imagine there would be restrictions on him but we’ve not spoken to him, just expressed a cautious interest.”
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo