Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell has ended his international career by signing a Kolpak deal with Worcestershire.
Parnell admitted that the decision to bid adieu to international cricket was the “toughest” of his career, but added that after thinking long and hard through everything, he is “comfortable and content” with the route he has opted to go down.
Parnell’s decision to sign a Kolpak deal stemmed from the fact that he has not played for South Africa October 2017 and lost his contract earlier this year.
“This is probably the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my career,” Parnell, who featured in six Tests, 65 ODIs and 40 Twenty20 Internationals, told ESPNcricinfo. “Of course this wasn’t an overnight decision, it’s a very difficult decision and I am fully aware and understand the pros and cons of it.
“I have always enjoyed playing for my country since making my debut. I’d like to thank everybody who has supported me through thick and thin, my family, my friends.
“Special mention must go to the Eastern Province and Warriors unions for taking a risk and giving a kid from the dusty streets of Booysen Park a chance play this wonderful game. To all of those people who dislike me for whatever reason I thank you as well, you’ve helped make me mentally and emotionally tougher.”
Parnell added while he still had hopes of playing for South Africa again, a serious shoulder injury in January and a lack of communication from Cricket South Africa forced him to assess his options and take his career in a different direction.
“After my serious injury in January I had three to four months out and really had time to reflect and think about what I want for the rest of my career going forward,” he said. “It was a very tough period in my life emotionally and mentally as it could potentially have been a career-ending injury and my wife was heavily pregnant with our first born son so I had a lot going on.
“You can’t really predict the future so you try and formulate and plot a plan and see how it unfolds.
“I am still young and I have plenty to offer to any environment that I’m in. I have played more than 100 games for my country in all formats and I’ve loved every time I’ve put on the South African jersey and I’m almost certain that nothing can replace that feeling, certainly on the cricket field.
“The reality of life is that that goals and aspirations change all the time and it seems the Proteas have moved passed me since I’ve not really had any communications since I had my injury and then not going to India for the ‘A’ tours was also another indication.
“But I’m happy with that and I am comfortable with where I’m at and what I’m doing. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Worcestershire since joining up with them and I’m excited about my future with them.”
The 29-year-old also revealed that he is eager to feature in many of the domestic Twenty20 competition around the world.
Parnell played in the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada earlier this year and was also picked to take part in the upcoming Afghanistan Cricket League in Sharjah.
Parnell added that he is also highly interested in playing in next year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“[I have] no regrets,” he said. “This isn’t an overnight decision like I’ve mentioned. The goalposts for me have shifted. I’m comfortable and content with my decision and the people in my corner are all fully supportive of my decision.
“I can’t really predict what the future holds but I’m excited by it at the same time. I’ve never really had the October to March window open to explore the different T20 leagues so that could potentially be in the pipeline.
“I expressed to Shahid Afridi, who was my team-mate during the Canadian T20 league, that I would love to play a professional game of cricket in Pakistan before I retire so hopefully I get to experience that in the PSL at some stage.
“Cricket has taken me to some amazing places and I’ve been lucky to meet some incredible people along the way. And the journey continues but now in a slightly different manner.”