Wayne Parnell’s limited availability for the Cape Cobras (and his Kolpak-ineligibility for South Africa) are behind the Cobras’ decision to part ways with the all-rounder.
The Cobras and Parnell have parted ways with immediate effect, bringing down the curtain on a successful three-year stint in the Cape for Parnell, who recently signed a three-year Kolpak deal with Worcestershire which effectively brought an end to his international career. Parnell had played 65 ODIs, 40 T20Is and six Test matches.
‘The board of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras unanimously decided to discontinue Parnell’s Cobras contract,’ said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Cobras. ‘It was a tough decision, as he was a senior and successful member of the Cobras squad in the past, winning four awards at the Cobras Player Awards in 2015/2016. He was voted Player of the Year at that awards ceremony.
‘His decision to sign a Kolpak and to participate in the Afghanistan Premier League has made him available for the Cape Cobras for a very limited period, while he would also not be available for international selection in future,’ said Dien. ‘We pride ourselves in being a conveyor belt for international South African players and it’s part and parcel of our mandate.’
CSA general manager of cricket, Corrie van Zyl said: ‘Every franchise is entitled to select two Kolpak players in their playing eleven, but those Kolpak players must be paid from the franchise’s own funds, and therefore it is really up to the franchises to determine the value of that player to their team.’
‘We are concerned about the amount of players who have signed a Kolpak agreement, which makes them unavailable for national selection. Although the experience of the Kolpak players is valuable, CSA needs to ensure that those players who are still committed to playing for the Proteas in the future, are afforded the opportunities to develop.
‘Every player who turns Kolpak is one less that can be eligible for the South African team and therefore CSA needs to look at ways to protect itself against the loss of experienced and younger players,’ added Van Zyl. ‘Our mandate is to produce players at domestic level who will represent South Africa.’
When announcing his decision to turn Kolpak, Parnell was quoted as saying that the decision was the toughest of his life.
‘This is probably the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my career,’ Parnell told ESPNcricinfo.
‘Of course, this wasn’t an overnight decision, it’s a very difficult decision and I am fully aware and understand the pros and cons of it. I have always enjoyed playing for my country since making my debut. I’d like to thank everybody who has supported me through thick and thin, my family, my friends.
‘Special mention must go to the Eastern Province and Warriors unions for taking a risk and giving a kid from the dusty streets of Booysen Park a chance to play this wonderful game. To all of those people who dislike me for whatever reason I thank you as well, you’ve helped make me mentally and emotionally tougher,’ he added.
Parnell admitted he had been considering the move for almost a year, during which time he has slipped out of South Africa’s teams across all formats, in addition to battling with injury.
‘After my serious injury in January 2018, I had three to four months out and really had time to reflect and think about what I want for the rest of my career going forward,’ he said to the Worcestershire website.
Parnell experienced a dip in form (as well as battling with injury) in 2017-18 during the Ram Slam T20 Challenge. The Momentum One Day competition was his most productive for the Cobras, taking six wickets and averaging 29.33 with the blade in five matches.
‘We will remember with glee his three straight five-wicket hauls for the Cobras in 2015-2016 and also the way in which he forced his way back into the national side through consistent excellence for the Cape Cobras. We wish him well with his future endeavours,’ added Dien.
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