Former Proteas speedster Kyle Abbott says that his experience in County Cricket has been among the most enjoyable in his career.
The 30-year-old turned down playing for his country by signing a Kolpak deal in January, and joined Hampshire in England; since then he’s gone on to take 60 wickets in the 2017 county season.
In an interview on Espncricinfo, Abbott speaks about his experience and life in England.
‘It was great,’ said Abbott. ‘I have had a bit of experience in county cricket over the last couple of years, but to be settled and contribute for Hampshire was great. It is nice to get started with a few wickets and maybe it is a sign of things to come in the next couple of years.’
Abbott was emotional in his farewell press conference after the second Test at Newlands against Sri Lanka at the beginning of the year, stating that ‘it was one of the hardest decisions’ he had to make to sign a four-year Kolpak contract.
Yet, after his time in England, he has spoken highly of the experience. ‘You are never going to replicate international cricket anywhere unless you are playing it,’ said Abbott.
‘At the end of the day I have realised over the last six-eight months that I just want to enjoy my cricket, no matter where I am playing and what stage it is.
‘I have enjoyed my last six months as much as I have ever enjoyed my cricket in the last nine-ten years. It has been really good for me; nice and refreshing.’
Abbott is currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League for the Khulna Titans, despite the Warriors’ participation in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, a tournament he would have possibly participated in if it had not been moved forward to replace the postponed Global T20 League.
‘They chose me,’ he said about his decision to play in the BPL. ‘It was an opportunity that came up a few months ago. All I want to do is play cricket and do my job. If I get an opportunity, I am going to take it.
‘I am really grateful to get a gig with Titans. It is a great set-up, from the management to the coaches, Mahela [Jayawardene] and Alfonso [Thomas]. Everything runs smoothly here, which makes it even more enjoyable.’
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