Former Proteas quick Wayne Parnell has seen his three-year Kolpak contract with Worcestershire terminated early.
The former Cobras and Warriors left-arm fast bowler joined the County in 2018 in what should have been a three-year deal, but the coronavirus pandemic hit the club hard, and the ECB will end the days of Kolpak players from 2021.
Worcestershire terminate Wayne Parnell’s contract
Worcestershire posted significant losses this season due to the restrictions on fans entering the ground and reduced central funding as the national board felt the pinch of the lockdown.
The County have expressed regret at the Parnell deal not working out, saying they did not intend to mislead the player.
“It is an enormous challenge for a club like ours, but perhaps less so than for many other sporting organisations,” said Worcestershire chairman Fanos Hira in quotes carried by Club Cricket SA.
“We feel that we are on top of things. We have a very lean structure. We took some decisive and necessary action last year, which means our cost base is lower than our peers.
“Kolpak players have come to an end. Wayne was signed as a Kolpak player, effectively a domestic player, and he will not be playing for us next year,” added Hira.
“It is also important to recognise we are far from perfect, and at times things have not worked as planned.”
Parnell played over 100 internationals for the Proteas between 2009 and 2017 but opted for the relative security of a Kolpak deal in 2018.
In a separate address, Hira revealed that Worcestershire had suffered a £1.8 million decline in anticipated commercial revenue due to the pandemic and severe flooding.
A limited number of former Proteas will be retained by their county employers but will play as overseas professionals unless they have qualified to represent England.
Kolpak players now on a sticky wicket
Essex are expected to retain the services of off-spinner Simon Harmer who has been at the heart of successful domestic campaigns for the team over recent years.
Other players are currently operating in a grey area, with Cameron Delport among those considering making himself available for national team duty.
Many Kolpak players have retained ties with their franchise teams, but CSA had limited the number of overseas-based players who could be included in domestic squads.
It remains to be seen how many players return to South African cricket on a full-time basis and how many stay on as overseas professionals.