Gunther glares at Andre Nel retirement press conference
In perhaps not too surprising a move, Andre Nel has announced his retirement from international cricket
and will be joining Surrey from this English cricket season
. He isn't actually joining them as an overseas player. Since he is South African, and since South Africa has a trade agreement with the European Union (see "Kolpak Ruling" text
), he is eligible to ply his trade in the UK and not be treated as an immigrant/foreign worker.
Naturally, this suits Surrey, because now they can actually sign up some other player as an overseas player. The surprising bit though is that as per the ECB rules, players are eligible to be picked as 'Kolpak players' only if they have quit domestic cricket in their country and haven't played first-class cricket in the previous 12 months. In the case of Nel, the latter isn't true, since he's been playing the current domestic season in South Africa
. As recently as 3 weeks ago, he was playing for Gauteng
. I guess this means the ECB has agreed for an exception on that clause.
The reason I reckon the retirement news isn't too surprising is because he hasn't been picked for South Africa for over a year now, and the likes of the Morkels & Steyn have firmly established themselves as the next-generation quicks.
Andre Nel did a pretty decent job for South Africa, typically bowling first change or second change
, and still picking up 123 wickets at an average of ~ 32 and strike rate of 62.
However, it isn't just his bowling that we'll recall. I'm fairly sure he's probably the only cricketer to claim that his alter ego
plays cricket, by the name of Gunther
. Sounds crazy isn't it?
He was first in the news when he bounced & hit Donald in a domestic game
and burst into tears for felling his idol. He's not spent too much time away from the headlines since then.
I daresay he's made a lot of entertaining viewing over the years, with his odd bowling style, his glaring & eye-balling
, his antics, constant chattering
, etc. At times, he made Dennis Lillee look like Javagal Srinath when it came to body language. The risk with the antics though is that sometimes you're the pigeon, and sometimes you're the statue
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