De Kock to take ‘mental health’ break

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South Africa captain Quinton de Kock will take a ‘mental health’ and skip the country’s domestic T20 tournament, on medical advice.

Chief Executive of the SA Cricketers’ Association (SACA) told ESPN that the wicketkeeper will take some time away from the game “for a few weeks”.

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

The South Africa cricket of the year in 2020, De Kock returned home from Pakistan last week, where the Proteas lost two Tests and the skipper was widely criticised for his captaincy as well as his form with the bat.

Prior to the Pakistan Tests De Kock admitted he found life in a bio bubble “unsettling” and questioned its sustainability.

Earlier on Monday, South Africa Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said all the country’s contracted players will play in the remaining matches in the domestic four-day competition as well as the T20 tournament.

However, it was later confirmed De Kock, and Faf du Plessis were not in the respective domestic squads, although the latter’s exclusion was not explained.

The T20 competition will take place between February 19 and 29 in a bio bubble in Durban.

Although the South African Test players have had a week off since the Pakistan series, the national T20 squad will go straight into the secure environment once they arrive back in the country, having lost 2-1 to Pakistan in 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,” said Smith.

“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.”

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