South African Kolpak exiles face an uncertain future.
With working conditions for non-European Union (EU) citizens threatened by a “no-deal Brexit,” there could be a number of players who could suddenly be without a job.
If you’re not clued up on Kolpak contracts and British politics, here’s a quick breakdown.
A Kolpak agreement provides that a sportsman from a non-European Union country with fair trade deals with the European Union to qualify for a contract as a non-foreigner.
But ever since the 2016 British vote to leave the EU, some politicians were looking for an abrupt, “no-deal” divorce from the protected economic zone.
Those politicians are now in power and the lives of some South Africans are about to change.
Of the current 18 Kolpak players playing their trade in England, Duanne Olivier and Rilee Rossouw were valuable Proteas players before deciding that the grass was greener overseas.
But what if they get pushed out of the pasture? If it comes to pass, what would Cricket South Africa do about it?
Olivier last played for the Proteas this year in both Test and ODI formats.
And his defection was a big blow to South Africa’s World Cup plans as his pace could definitely have bolstered our options at the tournament.
However, Olivier has since come out and said that he would be keen to play for England.
It would seem that the 27-year-old is lost to Proteas then.
And Rilee? At 29, the left-handed batsman could still turn out at a second World Cup in four years' time, after helping out in 2015, if he returns to the fold.
Rossouw would be a big boost at the top or middle of the order as South Africa look to rebuild after their latest disaster in England.
It might seem like they don’t have a future, but even current Proteas captain Faf du Plessis was a Kolpak player, although that was before his SA debut.
We did bring Charl Langeveldt back though, so there is hope of a reconciliation.