Quinton de Kock to take ” mental break ” from cricket

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South Africa captain Quinton de Kock will take a ‘mental health’ break and skip a forthcoming domestic Twenty20 tournament on medical advice.

Andrew Breetzke, chief executive of the SA Cricketers’ Association (SACA), has disclosed the same

De Kock would take time off from the game “for a few weeks”.

“SACA and Cricket South Africa will continue to support him through this process,” said Breetzke.

De Kock, returned from Pakistan last week after leading South Africa in two losing Test matches during which he struggled as a batsman and was criticised for his captaincy.

De Kock, South Africa’s regular white-ball captain, agreed to lead the Test side in a temporary capacity during the current season.

He disclosed last month he was feeling the strain of living in bio-secure ‘bubbles’ which are a reality for international cricketers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking after captaining South Africa to a home Test series win against Sri Lanka, De Kock questioned the sustainability of ‘bubble’ life which he described as “unsettling”.

He said then that he had mixed feelings about touring Pakistan because of the frustrations of being confined to a bio-secure environment.

South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith said earlier  that all of the country’s contracted players would play in the T20 tournament, as well as the remaining matches in a four-day competition.

However subsequently De Kock and Faf du Plessis were not in the squads announced by the country’s six franchises.  Reasons for Du Plessis’ absence was not known.

Although the country’s Test players have had a week off since returning from Pakistan, the national T20 squad would have to go straight into the ‘bubble’ after arriving from a series which ended on Sunday.

“We are trying to manage these bubble lives that the players are spending time in, the mental health and welfare of players, but we need to do get our (national) players playing. We’ve got a lot of growth to happen in our men’s game and for players to step up”  said Smith 

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