Former Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel has urged Cricket South Africa be proactive about encouraging players to not sign Kolpak contracts.
Seamer Duanne Olivier recently rejected a CSA contract to pursue a career in English county cricket.
Seamer Kyle Abbott, spinner Simon Harmer, batsmen Rilee Rossouw Colin Ingram and fast bowler Hardus Viljoen are other recent examples of South Africans who have signed Kolpak contracts. Morkel, too, signed a Kolpak contract but only after retiring from international cricket.
‘They have to sit down and come up with plans because they’re going to lose a lot of players in the near future and they need to protect against that,” Morkel told cricket.com.au.
‘Communication is the key in any business. It’s never nice – it always paints a bad picture of cricket in South Africa. But that’s unfortunately part of our DNA and the struggles we have in South Africa.
‘Do you structure the contracting a little bit better? What security do you give the guys in terms of life after cricket? You talk about investing, but once a guy retires, they sort of drift away.
‘I can name a number of players on whom they have invested a lot of money in, but you don’t see them coaching, you don’t see them involved with our academies.
‘Give those guys a platform and say; “we’ve invested in you for so many years, when you’re thinking of settling down or moving on, this is where we see a role for you”. I think that communication is not great at the moment, so that’s something they can improve on.’
Olivier’s decision to join Yorkshire came amid a successful start to a burgeoning Test career, which yielded 48 wickets in 10 matches – and included a Player of the Series performance against Pakistan earlier this year.
‘It’s just unfortunate because Duanne had really settled in and is finding his feet. He knows what Test cricket is about. In terms of timing, it’s not great,’ he added.
‘But I think that decision was made long before a couple of months ago. He weighed his options up and it was a family decision and you have to respect that.
‘It’s never nice to lose quality players, you always want to see them play for South Africa. But I understand it completely and I wish him all the best.’