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Proteas coach slams exiting Rossouw

Press Association logoPress Association 5/01/2017

South Africa coach Russell Domingo has slammed Rilee Rossouw after the batsman joined Kyle Abbott in signing a Kolpak deal with English side Hampshire.

Rossouw, 27, and fast bowler Abbott, 29, have effectively ended their international careers after signing respective three and four-year deals with the county championship side.

Cricket South Africa announced it had terminated Abbott's national contract by mutual agreement and with immediate effect, and that it was in the process of following a similar process for Rossouw.

Abbott faced the media after South Africa's Test victory against Sri Lanka in Cape Town on Thursday to explain his decision but Domingo revealed Rossouw had only informed CSA about his decision via email.

Domingo told a press conference broadcast on Cricket South Africa's Twitter feed: "We got an email off his iPhone yesterday telling us he has signed Kolpak. He spelt my name wrong for starters - he put one 'l' instead of two. So that's where we are. I'm very disappointed in him.

"He toured Australia as the back-up Test batsman, he was the next batsman in. He's played in most of the one-dayers and a lot of T20s. He's a guy we backed after five noughts (early in his international career).

"We said this is a guy who can play the closest level to AB de Villiers in the one-day teams. We invested massively in him and we're very disappointed in his decision."

Rossouw had released a statement saying: "Deciding to leave South Africa is something I have thought long and hard about and moving to England will give me and my family the long-term career security that I believe is important at this stage of my life.

"I have loved representing the Proteas and will watch from afar with great affection every time they take the field from now on but I am hugely dedicated to making Hampshire cricket successful on the field."

CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said:: "If somebody gives up their right to play for the Proteas I'm afraid there's not much more we can do.

"We invest huge sums of money in every individual and we take Rilee by way of example. The last I don't know how many months we've been treating his injuries and investing in him and sadly there's no return for us in the year to come."

Rossouw had played 51 times across the two shortest international formats but had yet to make his Test debut.

Abbott, who previously played for Hampshire as an overseas player in 2014, made 10 Test appearances alongside 28 in one-day internationals and 21 in T20 internationals.

Abbott confirmed he made his decision five months ago and added: "There were a couple of evenings when I went to sleep thinking, 'have I made the right decision?' but I've always woken up the next morning going, 'actually I have'."

"I don't think anyone can question my commitment to South Africa. If I wasn't committed I would have done this a long time ago."

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