spo_211230 de kock-1640887875045
South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock celebrates the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara during the fourth day of the first Test against India at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Former South African Test captain Quinton de Kock has quit from Tests with immediate effect to spend more time with his growing family.

The wicketkeeper-batter and his wife Sasha are anticipating the birth of their first child and was expected to go on paternity leave after the first Test against India, which the hosts lost by 113 runs in Centurion on Thursday.

“This is not a decision that I have come to very easily. I have taken a lot of time to think about what my future looks like and what needs to take priority in my life now that Sasha and I are about to welcome our first child into this world and look to grow our family beyond that,” said the 29-year-old in a statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA). “My family is everything to me and I want to have the time and space to be able to be with them during this new and exciting chapter of our lives.”

De Kock, who made his Test debut against Australia in 2014, has amassed 3,300 runs in 54 matches.

spo_211230 de kock1-1640887872952
Quinton de Kock walks back after being dismissed by Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj in what was his last Test innings. Image Credit: Reuters

“I love Test cricket and I love representing my country and all that it comes with. I’ve enjoyed the ups and the downs, the celebrations and even the disappointments, but now I’ve found something that I love even more,” said de Kock, who has 232 dismissals, including 221 catches and 11 stumpings.

“In life, you can buy almost everything except for time, and right now, it’s time to do right by the people that mean the most to me.”

De Kock has also taken the third-most catches in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship — 48 in 11 matches (47 catches and 1 stumping) and has a personal best of six dismissals in an innings, against England in Centurion in 2019.

“This is not the end of my career as a Protea, I’m fully committed to white ball cricket and representing my country to the best of my ability for the foreseeable future,” the left-hander said. “All the best to my teammates for the remainder of this Test series against India.

“See you in the ODIs and T20s.”

CSA Acting CEO, Pholetsi Moseki congratulated De Kock on an exemplary career. “It’s sad to lose a player of Quinton’s calibre at what we still see as the prime of his career and relatively young life, but family, as we all say here at CSA, is everything. He has been a loyal and proud servant of the Proteas team for the last seven years and we are glad that we have not lost him from the game entirely,” he said.