Rory Kleinveldt lets one rip in his final first-class game for the Cape Cobras against the Warriors at Newlands this week. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Rory Kleinveldt has walked a long road from the fresh-faced youngster that made his first-class debut in 2002/03, but now he will only play limited-overs cricket going forward.

The 35-year-old former Proteas paceman announced his retirement from “red-ball” cricket on Thursday via Twitter, where he said that he had “finally lost the love for the toil” of the first-class game.

Kleinveldt played his last red-ball match for the Cape Cobras this week, which ended in a six-wicket defeat to the Warriors at Newlands on Thursday.

“Finally lost the love for the toil!!!! Been a great ride and made some unbelievable memories. Love to all my teammates, coaches, family and friends for the support over the 17 years,” Kleinveldt tweeted, before adding a few minutes later: “Sorry guys meant #redball”

Kleinveldt came through the ranks of Victoria Cricket Club (where he played senior first-team cricket at 16) and Plumstead High, and was part of the SA Under-19 ‘Class of 2002’ that played in the World Cup final, where Hashim Amla captained South Africa.

He took 454 wickets in 148 first-class matches for WP, the Cobras and Northants at an excellent average of 27.92, with a best of 9/65.

He also played in four Tests, 10 ODIs and six T20 Internationals for the Proteas, and made his Test debut against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane in November 2012, and played his last one against Pakistan in Centurion in February 2013.

The Cobras said that Kleinveldt, a fast-medium bowler who bowled a ‘heavy ball’ and was able to move it both ways, as well as being a hard-hitting lower-order batsman, will continue to play white-ball cricket domestically.

And considering his skills in the shorter formats, Kleinveldt is sure to pick up T20 gigs around the world, as well as continue his long-standing relationship with Northamptonshire in England.

Some of his former teammates took to social media to congratulate him on his career.

“Def fulfilled the talent you had guy so be proud of a wonderful career and everything you achieved! Bowled a heavy ball and moered a long one!! Come join the toppies on the circuit,” Herschelle Gibbs wrote.

Dale Steyn added: “Machine bud! 17 years and always made a impact! You can be very proud Congrats bro”


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