Abbott quits Tests, to play for Hampshire

"It is one of hardest decisions I have had to make in my life," the 29-year-old said of his decision to sign a Kolpak contract with Hampshire.

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South African fast bowler Kyle Abbott has decided to play county cricket in England.   -  Getty Images

South African fast bowler Kyle Abbott announced on Thursday that he will retire from Test cricket with immediate effect in order to play county cricket in England.

"It is one of hardest decisions I have had to make in my life," the 29-year-old said of his decision to sign a Kolpak contract with Hampshire.

The Kolpak Ruling declares that citizens of countries which have applicable Association Agreements with the European Union, and who are lawfully working within an EU country, have equal rights to work as EU citizens, and cannot have restrictions such as quotas placed upon them.

Abbott played his final Test on Thursday as South Africa sent Sri Lanka crashing to a 282-run defeat at Newlands, giving the host a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series.