In recent times, many cricketers have preferred playing in County cricket at their peak rather than representing their country. This has got former South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock thinking but has no solution to it as the game has become a business nowadays.
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Most recently, young West Indies fast bowler Miguel Cummins has left West Indies and signed a Kolpak deal. Cummins was a part of the West Indies Test squad against India where they went down 2-0 in the two-match series. Previously, the 27-year-old pacer Duanne Oliver took the Kolpak deal after playing just 10 Tests for South Africa. Kyle Abbott also did the same thing in 2017 and the list continues.
The Kolpak deal allows players from countries with free trade deals with the European Union (EU) to play cricket in any EU country without being considered an overseas player. They can sign up with English counties without being considered overseas players.
Shaun Pollock seemed concerned with young cricketers turning down international offers and choosing money. The former Proteas cricketer also feels there is no way out of this as the game has become a business nowadays.
“Well you want to have as many players to pick from and you can’t fix it (this problem). That is how it is in the modern day. In the old days there wasn’t much financial gain in playing sport. People just made themselves available playing for the country. Now it is business,” Pollock said on Friday.
Since 2004, South Africa has had the maximum number of Kolpak players. Among all, Kyle Abbott and Duanne Olivier have hurt them the most. Shaun Pollock feels these are business decisions and one cannot stop it anyhow. But Pollock feels that this is not ideal because it weakens a team from inside which make things more challenging.
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“They have to make business decisions, where they are going to make money, where they are going to get opportunities and you can’t fight against it. If they feel they are not going to play for South Africa for a period of time and decide to go elsewhere, it is unfortunate,” he concluded.