Wayne Parnell has signed a Kolpak deal with Worcestershire, a decision he said was probably the toughest he has had to make in his career. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – The Cape Cobras say the fact that Wayne Parnell has signed a Kolpak deal and opted to play in the Afghanistan Premier League has resulted in them discontinuing his contract with immediate effect.

Cobras chief executive Nabeal Dien said in a statement on Tuesday that it had been a “difficult decision” to let Parnell go.

But the Western Cape franchise board felt that the 29-year-old left-handed all-rounder’s limited availability for the Cobras during the SA season – and not being eligible for Proteas selection due to his three-year Kolpak deal with Worcestershire – made it difficult to retain Parnell’s services.

“The Board of the Cape Cobras unanimously decided to discontinue Parnell’s Cobras contract,” Dien said.

“It was a tough decision, as he was a senior and successful member of the Cobras squad in the past, winning four awards at the Cobras Player Awards in 2015/2016. He was voted Player of the Year at that awards ceremony.

“But his decision to sign Kolpak, and also to participate in the Afghanistan Premier League, has made him available for the Cape Cobras for a very limited period, while he would also not be available for international selection in future.

“We pride ourselves in being a conveyor belt for international South African players, and it’s part and parcel of our mandate.”

Parnell told the Cricinfo website last week that “this is probably the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my career”, adding that it wasn’t an overnight decision, and that he understood the pros and cons of it.

Cricket South Africa’s Corrie van Zyl – who is the general manager for cricket at the governing body – expressed his concern about the growing number of local talents signing Kolpak agreements.

Just over the last few years, former Proteas such as Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw have opted for that route, which makes them unavailable for international cricket.

“Every franchise is entitled to select two Kolpak players in their playing XI, but those Kolpak players must be paid from the franchise’s own funds, and therefore it is really up to the franchises to determine the value of that player to their team,” Van Zyl said on Tuesday.

“We are concerned about the amount of players who have signed a Kolpak agreement, which makes them unavailable for national selection.

“Although the experience of the Kolpak players is valuable, CSA needs to ensure that those players, who are still committed to playing for the Proteas in the future, are afforded the opportunities to develop.

“Every player who turns Kolpak is one less that can be eligible for the South African team, and therefore, CSA needs to look at ways to protect itself against the loss of experienced and younger players.

“Our mandate is to produce players at domestic level who will represent South Africa.”

Parnell played in 65 ODIs, 40 T20 Internationals and six Test matches.



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