Quinton De Kock on Thursday announced his retirement from Test cricket, saying that he wants to spend more time with his family. The wicketkeeper-batsman was a part of the South African team that lost the first Test against India earlier in the day. He was to miss the second and third game of the series due to paternity leave but then decided to call time on his career in the longest format.

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“This is not a decision that I have come to very easily. I have taken a lot of time to think about what my future looks like and what needs to take priority in my life now that Sasha and I are about to welcome our first child into this world and look to grow our family beyond that. My family is everything to me and I want to have the time and space to be able to be with them during this new and exciting chapter of our lives,” the 29-year-old said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa.

He further added that he wanted to “do right by the people that mean the most”.

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De Kock said he was still “fully committed” to playing limited-overs cricket for South Africa.

His move seemingly took Cricket South Africa by surprise, too. Its CEO, Pholetsi Moseki, said: “It’s sad to lose a player of Quinton’s caliber at what we still see as the prime of his career.”

Who is Quinton De Kock?

Coming from the same school as Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie, De Kock first rose to prominence when he finished as the South Africa U-19 side’s highest run-scorer during the 2012 World Cup. 

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He made bis T20I debut in December 2012 against New Zealand. However, it was only a year later that he came to people’s notice after scoring three consecutive tons against India. 

De Kock made his Test debut against Australia in Gqeberha in 2014. He has played 54 matches, scoring 3,300 runs at an average of 38.82. He has notched six centuries and 22 half centuries in that period.

Quinton De Kock became the fifth South African to score five fifty-plus scores in a row. In limited overs cricket, the 29-year-old started off with two hundreds at home versus England. He finished as South Africa’s highest run-getter in the World T20 and was named in the ICC’s team of the tournament

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De Kock has also been a distinguished wicketkeeper for the Proteas, affecting 232 dismissals – including 221 catches and 11 stumpings.

He has led South Africa in four Test matches after taking over as temporary captain at the start of 2021, beating Sri Lanka 2-0 and losing to Pakistan by the same margin.