Faf du Plessis believes that the new T20 Global League will reduce the potential departure of South African talent.
In the past, South Africa were forced to witness a number of players depart for improved financial security, with the likes of Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese and Stiaan van Zyl the recent Proteas contracted players to sign deals with County sides.
With South Africa setting up a trade agreement with the European Union, players are allowed to leave to England and be regarded as ‘home’ selections under the Kolpak rule.
Transformation targets have also added more reason for the departure of players, as a stipulated number of non-white players are expected to be selected in the national side.
Test and T20I captain, Du Plessis, who played for Lancashire under the Kolpak rule, hopes that the T20 Global League will curb the drainage of local talent.
‘I spoke about it when the Kolpak thing started happening in South Africa – it was probably important that South Africa looked at different ways to try and keep players in the country,’ explained Du Plessis at the Global League’s team launch in London on Monday.
‘I think this is a huge step towards that,’ he added
‘Players don’t have to look outside anymore, from an opportunity point of view and from a financial point of view – they don’t need to go overseas and look for other stuff.
‘This is going to be really important to keeping most of the players in the country.’
The Global League is set for a November-December timeframe which allows South Africa’s leading players to be available for the whole of a domestic T20 competition.
‘We’ve always come back from long tours and there was a lot of important cricket coming up so we haven’t always been around to play as much domestic cricket as was needed,’ said Du Plessis.
‘For the whole South African team to be available to play in this tournament is the most important thing.’
There will also be eight international marquee players available, but they are yet to be assigned to franchises.
Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen and Jason Roy represent England, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard represent the West Indies, Lasith Malinga represents Sri Lanka and former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is also a part of the list.
‘You are starting to see different T20 leagues taking up different gaps during the year and current international players can’t participate in all of them – it’s just not possible,’ said du Plessis.
‘What that does is bring in your ex-players, as Brendon (McCullum) talked about, your ‘mercenaries’.
‘South Africa is no different to any other place. The fans would love to see Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and all those players.’