Brexit will be the one thing that will stop the Kolpak players, says Faf du Plessis

Reflecting on the Test series loss, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said that it is sad for the country to not have the option to pick its best players.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis looks on during the final Test in Ranchi.   -  AFP

Earlier this year, former Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel had warned that more South Africans could decide to follow the Kolpak route in the near future, urging Cricket South Africa to be proactive about keeping players at home.

Duanne Olivier signed a three-year contract with Yorkshire, following fellow fast bowler Kyle Abbott, who joined Hampshire in 2017.

Rilee Rossouw was a first-choice ODI player when he joined Hampshire around the same time. Morkel, too, joined Surrey, but only after his international retirement in 2018. Hashim Amla, too, is set to sign for Surrey as a Kolpak registration.

Amla announced his retirement from international cricket in August and has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with the club.

Now, South Africa is part of a deal called the Cotonou Agreement with the European Union, so their players are eligible for Kolpak deals.

However, things could change if Britain leaves the EU, in which case Kolpak contracts will most likely not be possible.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis echoed the view while reiterating that it is sad for the country to not have the option to pick its best players. "Brexit will be the one thing that will stop the Kolpak players," du Plessis said here on Monday.

"So that could benefit South African cricket tremendous amounts... I don't know if they will find a loophole around it by saying 'we will have another overseas player' that will be allowed to play in county cricket which still means the guys will go and play there; it will just be under a different name," he added.

"The opportunities are there for people in the domestic circuit in England... a lot of South African players are down there at the moment. From a financial point of view, the pound is stronger than the rand so that will be a concern for us.

"At the moment, we are not only losing our experience in international cricket but in domestic cricket as well... your top players domestically are going overseas... the guys who don't get picked for the national team are going overseas, so obviously the talent pool has got smaller; it's proving very difficult to stop."