South African Paterson seeks Kolpak deal despite coronavirus uncertainty

Dane Paterson. Photo: @youtube
Pacer Dane Paterson has ended his association with the South Africa cricket team and plans to play professionally in England from this season. Paterson played in the third and fourth Tests against England in January, taking four wickets at an average of 41.50. England won both matches.


Paterson's Kolpak deal with Nottinghamshire was scheduled for March 23, but was deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Ashwell Prince, Paterson’s franchise coach and a former South African Test bowler, said the 31-year old pacer was in the final stages of concluding the deal.


"I'm sure these guys sit down and calculate what realistic opportunities will they have of playing for the Proteas and if not, they will consider other options. I think this is probably how this came about," he added.


Uncertainty on County Championships due to coronavirus pandemic


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had already suspended professional cricket till May 28 to contain the spread of coronavirus.


Despite the uncertainty over the start of the cricket season in the United Kingdom, the right-arm seamer has not been re-contracted to his local domestic franchise, the Cobras.


Paterson international career


Paterson has played four one-day internationals and eight Twenty20 internationals for South Africa. However, he was not selected for white-ball matches against England and Australia which followed the England Tests, which Prince said was a factor in the player's decision.


What is Kolpak rule?


Under the Kolpak rule, citizens of European Union countries are allowed to work or play in any other EU country. The European Union Association Agreements, which are free trade treaties between the EU and other countries, also have the same terms. So, South African players can play county cricket in England under the Cotonou Agreement with the EU and not be available for inclusion in the national team until the expiry of their county agreement. However, the Kolpak deals will become invalid, which is due to happen when the UK leaves the European Union at the end of this year, the cricketers will continue to play in England as an overseas professional.


South African players like Kyle Abott, Morne Morkel, Simon Harmer and Duanne Olivier have preferred county cricket to playing domestic cricket in South Africa and inclusion in the national side. The rationale is that domestic cricket does not promise a good pay and the chance of making it to the playing 11 in the national side is not assured.

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