AB de Villiers played down the notion that South African cricket is under threat as a result of the recent influx of Kolpak signees.
Seven recently-capped internationals signed Kolpak deals to play County Cricket, including two players who the Proteas faced in their warm-up matches against Sussex and Northamptonshire, namely Stiaan van Zyl and Rory Kleinveldt.
De Villiers chose to rather look to the future and brushed off the idea of a crisis caused by the departure of former Proteas contracted players.
‘We are not harping too much on what we lost, rather focusing on what we have gained over the last few months,’ said the Proteas captain.
‘Yes, there are quite a few talented guys we have lost, which is not good for our depth at home. There’s nothing we can do about that. It’s part and parcel of what we are confronted with in recent times.
‘We can’t stop guys from going where they want to go and playing cricket where they want to play cricket. I feel it’s something of the past.’
Despite Brexit making it difficult for international players to get hold of work permits in the UK, De Villiers believes that the South Africa’s new T20 Global Destination league will give players reason to stay in the country.
‘The T20 tournament will make a big difference in keeping guys over there. I truly believe the systems have been put in place to make sure it’s important for the guys to stay at home,’ he said.
For now, De Villiers has bigger fish to fry, with the three-match ODI series against England, starting on Wednesday, and the Champions Trophy kicking off on 1 June.