South Africa captain Quinton de Kock has taken a mental health break on medical advice after he was left out of the upcoming T20 Challenge.
De Kock has cut a dejected figure since being asked to skipper the Test squad, as the Proteas assess more options for the five-day captaincy.
De Kock, South Africa’s cricketer of the year in 2020, returned from Pakistan last week after leading South Africa in two losing Test matches during which he struggled as a batsman and was criticised for his captaincy.
He acknowledged last month he was feeling the strain of living in bio-secure “bubbles” that are a reality for international cricketers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said then that he had mixed feelings about touring Pakistan because of the frustrations of being confined to a bio-secure environment.
And SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca) CEO Andrew Breetzke tells the Cricinfo website De Kock would take time off from the game “for a few weeks”.
He adds: “Saca and Cricket South Africa will continue to support him through this process.”
CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith says: “We are trying to manage these bubble lives that the players are spending time in, the mental health and welfare of players.
“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.”