‘You do not expect anyone of his calibre to retire at that age.’
IMAGE: South Africa head coach Mark Boucher with Quinton de Kock. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
For South Africa head coach Mark Boucher, wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock’s sudden Test retirement is a shock since ‘you do not expect anyone of his calibre to retire at that age’.
De Kock, only 29, announced his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the opening match against India, which the hosts lost by 113 runs at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.
“You do not expect anyone of his calibre to retire at that age,” Boucher said.
“It came as a shock. But we fully respect his reasons,” he added,
De Kock scored 3300 runs from 54 Tests at an average of 38.82 with six hundreds after making his debut in 2014.
Boucher said South Afria have no luxury to dwell on de Kock’s decision but must instead focus on the second Test against India which gets underway at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday.
“He had a fantastic Test career. It’s sad, but we’ll have to keep going,” Boucher said.
“We’re in the middle of a series and we cannot wonder about it for too long. We need to focus on the guys who come in his place and hopefully, they can do something similar to what Quinny offered us.”
While the Proteas’ think-tank knew that de Kock wouldn’t be available for the second and third Test due to the birth of his first child, they didn’t expect the first Test loss against India to be his final game in whites for South Africa.