Kyle Abbott could have played his final Test for South Africa © AFP
Kyle Abbott looks set to be left out of the squad for the third Test against Sri Lanka at Johannesburg next week, after talks with Cricket South Africa failed to dissuade him from accepting a Kolpak deal with Hampshire.
ESPNcricinfo broke the news of Abbott’s signing on Tuesday, of which CSA had no knowledge. The board has spent the last two days in meetings with Abbott’s agent, Weber van Wyk, but ESPNcricinfo has learned that they have been unable to come to any arrangement that will convince Abbott to stay in South Africa.
Abbott’s county deal is believed to be for three years, which means that, at the age of 29, the current Newlands Test is likely to be his last, with his CSA contract expiring in April. With the series already decided, it is understood the selectors view Abbott’s impending exit as an opportunity to blood another bowler ahead of tours to New Zealand and England later this year.
Wayne Parnell is already in the squad as a reserve seamer but, with four seamers being a possibility in Johannesburg, and Morne Morkel yet to recover fully from a back injury, Knights seamer Duanne Olivier, who tops the first-class wicket charts, could be in the running.
Several other South Africans are believed to be considering similar options to Abbott, with Rilee Rossouw among the names linked to an impending county deal.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo