Lions coach Geoff Toyana says Quinton De Kock’s departure to the Titans for the 2015/2016 domestic season is a ‘big loss for us’, reports Kobus Pretorius.
De Kock will leave the Lions to play for the Titans next season, although how many games he will actually play for his new franchise remains to be seen.
The Titans announced the signing on Tuesday. De Kock joins all-rounder Chris Morris as one of two new high-profile acquisitions for the franchise, but Morris is expected to feature more for the team from Pretoria.
De Kock represents South Africa in all formats of the game at international level and is unlikely to play a lot of domestic cricket.
Nationally contracted players have the option each year of choosing for which franchise they want to play and that is why De Kock will initially only join for the 2015/2016-season.
The wicketkeeper will join up with coach Rob Walter at the Titans, continuing the working relationship they shared at the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.
‘We are delighted to welcome an international star of his class and undoubted potential,’ Jacques Faul, chief executive of the Titans and the Easterns franchise, told their website.
‘We believe he is a match-winning player who can change the complexion of an innings with his repertoire of attacking strokes.’
Faul, in a follow-up interview with SACricketmag.com, said even though there is uncertainty about De Kock’s availability for next season, they are nevertheless happy to have him on their books.
Toyana lamented the loss of another big player.
‘It’s the nature of the business,’ he said. ‘We respect his decision, even though he didn’t play many games for us over the last 18 months.
‘We’ll move on, but it’s tough days [after also losing Morris]. I believe we have enough depth in the squad to fill the void, so we won’t be very focused on recruiting new players. I’m quite happy with the squad we have. It’s an opportunity for the players coming through to prove themselves.’
— The Unlimited Titans (@Titans_Cricket) May 26, 2015