Dane Piedt quits South Africa to pursue career in USA

Piedt, who has played nine Tests for South Africa, will leave for the United States in the next few months to play in the new Minor League T20 tournament.

Dane Piedt made a fifty for South Africa during its away Test series against India   -  K. R. Deepak

In an unusual move, South Africa off-spinner Dane Piedt is giving up his career in the ICC elite member nation and will move to the USA, with dreams of guiding the associate into a World Cup one day.

Piedt, who has played nine times for South Africa, will leave for the United States in the next few months to be part of the new Minor League T20 tournament, which is due to launch this summer.

“The USA were given ODI status last year so it’s not completely out of the question,” Piedt told ESPNcricinfo.

“I just signed the deal this morning but no one really knows when I will be able to travel. It was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up, financially and for lifestyle reasons, but it was still a tough decision to make.”

While he doesn’t see himself being picked in the South African team in the near future after losing ground to other spinners, Piedt fancies his chances in America, where there is a dearth of cricketers with experience of playing in the top-flight.

“Shammo (Tabraiz Shamsi) has really made a mark in white-ball cricket and Keshav (Maharaj) has done exceptionally well for the Test side, he has done exactly what the team needs,” Piedt said.

“And if you look at the schedule, South Africa are not due to tour the subcontinent again soon and that’s the only place where I might get a game.”

The spinner has never travelled to the USA and doesn’t even know where he will be based in the long term.

Piedt said he has been taking tips from former South Africa seamer Rusty Theron, who helped him secure the deal.

Theron has been living in the USA for several years and made his ODI debut for the country last year.

“He has given me some information, especially about the cricket scene there. It’s a decent set-up and I know they have some good cricketers like Xavier Marshall and a few Australians and Indians who played in national Under-19 teams and then moved.”

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