What a week for South African captains this turned out to be.
On Sunday, it started with Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi announcing that he was leaving Western Province and the Stormers, before signing with the Sharks on Wednesday.
Monday, we learnt that Proteas stand-in Test captain Quinton de Kock was sitting out of the upcoming T20 Challenge upon his return from Pakistan.
Then we found out the next day that he was taking a mental health break on medical advice.
And finally we heard that De Kock’s predecessor, Faf du Plessis has decided to call time on his five-day career to focus on T20 cricket.
Now I have to tell you that out of the three news stories two left a bad taste in my mouth and one of these men lost a lot of my respect.
Can you guess who left my bek so bitter?
Laat ek vir julle uitspoel.
It wasn’t Siya. I understand completely why he took a FlySafair to Durban.
Province rugby is a mess, ek se. With Siya’s star and profile rising on a global scale, it was his marketability that lured US sports investors MVM Holdings to Newlands.
With Province set to move to Cape Town Stadim, WP and Siya would have quickly brought fresh eyes and interest to the union.
And surely the money would have followed.
But we all know how things were going at WP and Siya went somewhere where he didn’t have to worry if his bosses were going to pay him at the end of the month or not.
I know that’s the reality for a lot of us at the moment. But if you had the choice, I’m sure you’d have made the same one as Siya.
And no, it wasn’t Faf either.
Du Plessis was an yster, coming in on debut against Australia in Adelaide to save his span from defeat with an unbeaten fourth-innings 110.
That innings was the longest, in terms of minutes, of any South African in Test cricket.
But it was also the start of an incredibly successful career against the Aussies.
Of his 10 Test centuries, 30 percent was against the old enemy.
And he is the only Proteas captain to lead SA to series wins at home and away against the honourless Baggy Green.
The only people who are happy to see the back of Faf are the Aussies, it seems.
There can be no doubt that Faf left the Proteas at a tough time in their history.
We aren’t competitive, having won just one of our last five series.
The side is inexperienced at international level and it takes time to adjust – ask Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla.
But the last thing we need is a sulk at the helm.
Which brings me to De Kock.
For all his talent as a batsman, De Kock has done his best to make me not stand seeing him play.
Since assuming Faf’s mantle after the 2019 World Cup disaster, the Proteas have shown very little fight.
Maybe De Kock can’t be blamed after all the infighting at Cricket South Africa, but come on, play with some pride.
You don’t get that from Quinny, though.
I’m sure that Director of Cricket Graeme Smith and coach Mark Boucher had a good talk with him before thrusting the Test captaincy on him for Sri Lanka’s trip here and the tour of Pakistan.
Smith would have told him that it’s an honour to lead the team representing your country.
And Biff would have told him that being made captain at the age of 22 is as tough as it gets when SA were still rebuilding their image after the Hansie Cronje match-fixing scandal.
Maybe they even promised De Kock this break.
But everyone is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and being confined to a hotel for a few weeks to play cricket and get paid handsomely is not the worst thing in the world.
So De Kock had better grow a pair after playing just four Test matches between now and last November.
Siya didn’t say no to the call to be the first black Bok captain in the face of being called a political appointment.
He did it to inspire a whole nation and he ended up conquering the world.
Faf didn’t call it quits when AB de Villiers, Amla, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn decided to leave the Test arena.
But if he’d known he was going to have to deal with a crybaby like De Kock, then he might have.
If De Kock plays for the Proteas again, he must JUST bat. No more captaincy and no more wicketkeeping.
If you want to sulk when you are captain of a national cricket team and moan about a pandemic like you’re the only one suffering, then boeta, you are no leader.