6:53 AM ET
Dwaine Pretorius has opted out of a Kolpak deal with Nottinghamshire and has committed his future to South African cricket.
ESPNcricinfo has learned that Pretorius was ready to relocate to the United Kingdom before the change in Cricket South Africa’s administration but has since negotiated a national contract that will keep him in the country.
Pretorius was not among the 16 players who were contracted in March this year – two of whom, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn, have since retired and another, Vernon Philander, is due to so at the end of this series.
Neither is he a regular in the South African side. Since making his debut in September 2016 in an ODI against Ireland, Pretorius has played some part in series against Australia (October 2016), Sri Lanka, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh (all 2017) and Australia (2018).
He played in five of the 10 ODIs South Africa hosted prior to the 2019 World Cup, against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, was included in the squad and played in matches in three of South Africa’s nine group stage matches. He has also featured in six T20s.
However, with little certainty over his long-term role in the set-up and a pay cut looming in his franchise contract – as South Africa’s domestic set-up battles debt – Pretorius was ready to seek security in the United Kingdom.
Had he done that, he would have joined several of his countrymen, including the likes of Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw and Duanne Olivier, who quit South Africa in the midst of their international careers. He was convinced otherwise by the new interim director of cricket Graeme Smith, who has been involved in player negotiations throughout the week.
Pretorius is on Test debut at SuperSport Park, where he has impressed with a patient 33 in the first innings, made in almost an hour-and-a-half at the crease, as well as aggression with the ball. With South Africa seeking to fill the lower-order allrounder role, and Philander nearing the end of his career, Pretorius has the opportunity to make the spot his own over the summer.