Kagiso Rabada is worried that Kyle Abbott may leave the Proteas to pursue a career as a Kolpak player with Hampshire.
Cricket South Africa officials met Abbott’s agent on Wednesday night after being confronted with the news that their new star bowler has signed a long-term agreement with the English county.
In a press conference after day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka, Rabada was asked if it would be sad if Abbott left.
He replied: ‘Sad, yes. Ever since I came into the team, Kyle has been a great bowler and also a good person. He is just a genuine guy. You can easily get along with him. It will be sad to see him go.’
Cricket South Africa had refused to comment when the news broke on Tuesday morning, and later said they were arranging meetings with his agent.
The timing of the news could not have been worse. It is believed that negotiations began before Abbott was brought in for the injured Dale Steyn, but he has since been given an extended run and excelled for his country.
Rabada, meanwhile, is concentrating on finishing the job against Sri Lanka. He took four wickets in their first innings and added another two as they struggled to 130-4, still 377 behind.
He has shown remarkable improvement after a subdued performance in the first Test in Port Elizabeth.
‘I never felt good rhythm in PE,’ he said. ‘To get back on track I just bowled more, I got better through bowling.
‘I think resting is for when you get time off. To get yourself to the highest level you need to bowl more and there is no room to rest when you not bowling well.’
Photo: Petri OeschgerGallo Images