Former South African speedster Morne Morkel has warned CSA to take proactive measures in ensuring the players get a bit more security in terms life after cricket, or risk losing “a lot of players in the near future."
“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.
“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 who 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."
Duanne Olivier, the 26-year-old pacer, became the latest high profile player to take a long-term deal with Yorkshire instead of playing international cricket, this despite a bumper few months where he managed to break into the top 20 of the ICC bowling rankings.
He follows the likes of Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw in signing a Kolpak deal which means that his international career for at least three years is over. He was even offered a two-year national contract with the Proteas which he reportedly rejected leaving CSA “extremely disappointing". Morkel, however, said he understood Olivier’s reasoning behind accepting the Kolpak deal.
“(When I was younger) I was settled in the team so for me, it was easier to put offers aside and focus on playing with South Africa," he said.
“It’s harder for those guys who are in and out of the team. If the communication channels aren’t great and you’re not sure where you fit in, that’s where the biggest challenge comes in. 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."
Morkel also said that he found Olivier’s exit at this stage slightly frustrating because the pacer had really settled in and was finding his feet in test cricket.
“It’s just unfortunate because Duanne had really settled in and is finding his feet … he knows what Test cricket is about," he said.
“In terms of timing, it’s not great. (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."