South Africa news February 1, 2016

Domingo backs Rabada for county spell

South Africa quick Kagiso Rabada has been suggested as a possible county signing © Gallo Images

While Kagiso Rabada's workload will be managed in the limited-overs series against England, he may not be able to enjoy as much of a winter break as his team-mates. Rabada is being primed for a short county stint of around six weeks, a move endorsed by his national coach Russell Domingo.

"It will benefit him massively," Domingo said. "He is still a young boy. He hasn't played a lot of four-day cricket and South Africa tour England in 2017 - there is a big series there with Tests and a Champions Trophy - so whatever experience he can get beforehand will be beneficial for him and the team. I think it's a very good idea."

Rabada has played just 20 first-class matches in South Africa, including three Tests during the England series, but already holds two records. Last February, his 14 for 105 were the best bowling figures in franchise history, bettering the 14 for 110 taken by Dale Steyn seven seasons before. And last week, Rabada's 13 in Centurion equalled the most wickets taken by a South African in a Test.

He was the leading wicket-taker overall in the recently completed four-Test series against England, which immediately prompted questions over whether he was considering a county future. At the conclusion of the Centurion Test, Rabada said he would consider doing "anything that benefits my game" in the near future. He has not entered the IPL auction and and there is a suggestion a trip to the UK would be better for him at this stage.

His agent has been in contact with several counties with details of Rabada's availability but most have either already agreed their overseas signings, want someone for the full season or are looking for a batsman. An exception is Durham, who may lose the services of Australia quick John Hastings due to a shoulder injury that requires surgery and could look to Rabada for some bolstering.

They, too, are wary of his workload though, according to Durham's head coach, Jon Lewis. "I'm hugely impressed with his performances against England," Lewis told the Newcastle Chronicle. "If I was Cricket South Africa I would be very careful with him. I would imagine there would be restrictions on him but we've not spoken to him, just expressed a cautious interest."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lesley on February 8, 2016, 18:02 GMT

    IPL is a big risk he might get smashed and lose confidence and never come back. I fully support county. Look at Wayne Parnell was purchased for around 770 000USD after 2009 WT20, and then where is and Parnell was mighty promising.

  • Paul on February 2, 2016, 16:24 GMT

    I would have been surprised if any county had taken a chance on Rabada at his age after just one season of international cricket. They are generally looking for proven star performers, reliable workhorses or the under the radar type, such as Chris Rogers, before he got noticed by Australia. Essex took a risk with Tsotsobe one year, just after he burst onto the scene, and it was an unmitigated disaster. That said, if one of the current overseas signings drops out through injury or unexpected international duty, the fact that he's available will mean he could well get the call as a replacement.

  • Mark on February 2, 2016, 15:54 GMT

    He is most welcome at Taunton

  • Rob on February 2, 2016, 10:34 GMT

    Very good he is not wasting his time and talent in IPL- which destroys cricketing skills. There is nothing like county cricket to improve a seam bowler.

  • Mustansir on February 2, 2016, 10:24 GMT

    he should play ipl, where he can make good amount of money in young age. rabada should focus on his batting also, so that he can be a good bet for any ipl team.

  • Your_average_ on February 2, 2016, 7:27 GMT

    They were right to not allow him to play that hit

  • Lewis on February 1, 2016, 18:28 GMT

    He should have played in the IPL as a team surely would have picked him up. He would be to bowl as fast as he likes and would gain lots of experience under pressure as well. County cricket may benefit his skills but he will become fatigued.

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