Quinton de Kock remains resolute in his decision to retire from ODI cricket after this World Cup, despite his remarkable performance as the leading run-scorer in the tournament and his proximity to breaking the record for the most centuries in a single World Cup edition. In Kolkata, he emphasized, “I’m set on my decision. It’s the end of my 50-over career. There have been one or two words said to me about it but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
However, when pressed further on the matter, de Kock hinted that he might reconsider his decision, especially with the 2027 home World Cup on the horizon. He stated, “At this point, I don’t foresee it happening. But, you never know. Strange things happen in life. It could be a possibility, but I don’t think so.” He also acknowledged the emergence of talented young cricketers who might fill his role in the team.
De Kock’s choice of words, “You never know,” reflects his unpredictable nature on the field, while “deal with national duties” underscores the burden of representing the national team, shedding light on why he has chosen to step away from international cricket.
Despite his incredible skill and ability to read match situations, de Kock has been burdened by the responsibilities that come with representing the national team, both as a captain and a player. It is an open secret that he prefers pursuits like fishing and wildlife to cricket.
However, there is a noticeable change in de Kock’s approach during this tournament. Teammates have observed his determination and dedication to the team’s success, which has inspired and motivated them. De Kock himself acknowledges that he is giving his all in his final campaign and is trying to leave a legacy while assisting younger players who are experiencing international cricket for the first time.
De Kock has also taken on a more active leadership role, making crucial decisions on reviews and adapting his batting approach to spend more time at the crease. After the World Cup, he plans to participate in the Big Bash League, which previously would have made him ineligible for South Africa’s T20 World Cup team. However, evolving selection policies might allow him to participate in the T20 World Cup as well.
Whether de Kock participates in the upcoming T20 World Cup remains uncertain, given the unpredictability of his retirement timing. There is a growing sense that if South Africa succeeds in the current World Cup, he may decide to retire completely, having achieved one of his most cherished dreams: winning a World Cup trophy.
At this stage in his career, de Kock’s hunger for the ultimate prize is louder than ever, making him not just a standout individual performer but also the ultimate team player. Personal milestones, such as becoming the highest run-scorer at World Cups or surpassing records held by others, matter less to him than winning the World Cup itself. As he put it, “I’d rather win the World Cup and score no runs, than score all the runs and not win the World Cup.”