Jacques Rudolph will no longer play professional cricket in South Africa after the left-handed batsman announced his decision to end his career in England. Rudolph played 48 Tests for South Africa in two stints, between 2003 and 2006 and then again in 2011 and 2012 but he has not played an international since then. He was part of the Titans squad until the end of last season. Rudolph is currently captaining Glamorgan, where he intends to finish his playing days.
"In the twilight of my career, I wish to commit myself more exclusively to the advancement of my batting career in England," Rudolph said.
Rudolph has extensive experience in England after leaving South Africa for Yorkshire on a Kolpak deal in 2007. At the time Rudolph was still on a central contract but facing the axe after poor form in the longest format. He had gone 14 innings without a century in 2006 and needed a change.
He excelled at Yorkshire, where he scored more than 1000 runs every summer for three years and returned to South Africa to stake a claim for an international recall. After one season. in which Rudolph topped the first-class competition's run-scorers' charts, he was recalled to South Africa's Test squad and recontracted but his second coming did not go as well as planned.
Rudolph was asked to open the batting but struggled to settle in the role and was then moved down the order. In total, he played 13 Tests on his return and scored only one century. He lost his central contract in 2013 but remained in South Africa where he played for Titans for two more seasons and took on a senior role in a squad going through transition.
In the time Rudolph represented Titans, the franchise lost stalwarts Paul Harris and Martin van Jaarsveld to retirement and had a change of coach when Matthew Maynard cut short his stay following the death of his son Tom. Rudolph's presence ensured there was stability at the core of one of South Africa's most successful domestic teams.
Despite Rudolph's presence, he scaled down his involvement last season. He only played in the shorter formats and ended on a high when Titans won the one-day cup in February. Rudolph listed that as one of the highlights in a storied South African career that also included being part of the team that rose to No. 1 on the Test rankings.
"One of the lasting impressions of my career was to be part of the South African team that managed to wrestle the No. 1 position in the world from England in 2012, and to have served in a Test team that featured at the global summit," he said. ""I am indebted to my team-mates at South Africa and Titans to have been part of several trophy-winning teams. I finished my domestic career on a high by being part of the Titans team that won so comprehensively at Newlands in February."
Rudolph is the second stalwart to have called time on his career after the most recent season. Neil McKenzie retired from first-class cricket as well, although he will play one more season of Twenty20 cricket.