The Cape Cobras have discontinued the contract of South Africa pace bowler Wayne Parnell with immediate effect. Parnell, 29, signed a Kolpak deal with Worcestershire last week, having just been part of the county's Vitality T20 Blast success. That decision effectively brought his international career to an end, and his unavailability for national selection has now prompted the cancellation of his Cobras' contract.
"The board of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras unanimously decided to discontinue Parnell's Cobras contract," Nabeal Dien, Cobras' chief executive officer, 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 2015-16. He was voted Player of the Year at that awards ceremony."
Parnell last played for South Africa in October 2017 against Bangladesh and featured in just two matches during the Ram Slam T20 last season, battling injury before losing his national contract earlier this year.
Parnell has a deal to play in the upcoming Afghanistan Cricket League in Sharjah, cutting into the time he would have been available to play domestic cricket in South Africa this season.
"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," Dien said.
While limited availability may have played a part, it appears Parnell's decision to follow the likes of Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw in taking up a Kolpak deal is at the crux of the Cobras' decision. "We pride ourselves in being a conveyor belt for international South African players and it's part and parcel of our mandate," Dien said.
Those concerns were echoed by Corrie van Zyl, Cricket South Africa's general manager of cricket. "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," Van Zyl said. "Our mandate is to produce players at domestic level who will represent South Africa.
"We are concerned about the amount of players who have signed a Kolpak agreement, which makes them unavailable for national selection," van Zyl added. "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 franchise is entitled to select two Kolpak players in their playing eleven, 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."