Western Province batsman David Bedingham has begun the process of qualifying to play for England having not been contacted by anyone at Cricket South Africa regarding his future.
The 27-year-old is the leading run-scorer in the current 4-Day Domestic Series with 509 runs at an average of 63.62.
However, Bedingham will not be involved in next week’s T20 Challenge in Gqeberha as he is set to return to England this week to join Durham, with whom he has signed a three-year deal.
This was confirmed by his agent, Arthur Turner, who also told IOL that Bedingham “is in the process of qualifying for England and needs to spend a certain amount of days in the country as per the regulations”.
“No one has contacted me directly, I’ve never once expected to be called – that’s entirely their decision to select the players they want, but I’ve heard rumours that they called me and I turned them down and that’s completely false.
“Durham asked me to return and train with the squad and get ready for the upcoming season, WP agreed to let me leave at the end of Jan before the T20 competition,” he added.
“They have terminated my contract but it ended on very good terms, with no drama … I can’t thank the coaching staff and CEO enough for the season, I really enjoyed it.
“The deal with Durham is until the end of the 2024 season, I love playing for Durham – great people, great club and lovely place to live.
“To my understanding, I qualify [to play for England] at the end of 2024, but immigration laws change all the time so you never know.”
Proteas convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said he was disappointed to hear that Bedingham would not be playing in the T20 Challenge.
“It is correct that I haven’t spoken to David as yet,” he told IOL. “We were planning to speak to him next week in Gqeberha to find out out the details of his contract with Durham because our understanding is that he has chosen to qualify for England.”