Quinton de Kock Exclusive: South African cricketers should see a witch doctor before ICC World Cups

Quinton de Kock in action for Lucknow Super Giants (Photo: IPL)

Lucknow Super Giants have left their mark on the Indian Premier League (IPL) by clinching the third spot in their first two seasons since joining the tournament. However, their journey to the final was cut short as they lost in the Eliminator round in 2022 and 2023. Now, the team from the ‘City of Nawabs’ is back, aiming to surpass their previous performances and clinch their maiden IPL trophy. Can they achieve this feat? South African international star Quinton de Kock believes they can.

“Yeah, look, we’ve made the playoffs in our first two years of the tournament in Lucknow’s IPL career. For us to win it this year, I think, will be an awesome thing, especially for the guys who have been here for all the three seasons. I think, last year’s loss in the playoffs was quite tough. It hurt the guys quite a bit because we had a lot of confidence going into that game thinking we could win it and then go to the final. And win that game as well,” Quinton de Kock told RevSportz in an exclusive interview. “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and yeah, now we are stuck here in 2024, starting from the beginning and trying to redo the whole thing over again, and actually trying to win it.”

While many teams focus on recruiting specialists, LSG have relied on a diverse range of all-rounders — a strategy that has brought them flexibility and success in the last two editions of the IPL, emerging as a winning formula for the franchise. This year, they continue with the same approach, boasting 11 all-rounders in their squad of 25.

“It’s nice to have a lot of options around, especially our bowling. I think our batting line-up is quite settled, and in the bowling line-up it’s nice to have that extra one or two options, especially when someone’s having a bad day with the ball. There would be options, who can bowl an extra over or two and bring in different and extra skill sets. So, it’s just always nice having those extra options,” the South African wicket-keeper said.

Lucknow Super Giants also welcomed back their captain KL Rahul, who suffered an injury midway through the previous season, leading to Krunal Pandya taking over as skipper. Despite sustaining a quadriceps strain during the first Test against England in Hyderabad during the recent Test series, Rahul underwent intense rehabilitation at the NCA and returned to lead the squad. He has also taken up wicketkeeping duties.

With over 4200 IPL runs to his name, Rahul’s consistent performances over the past seasons and his run-tally are no ordinary numbers — 274 in nine games in 2023, 616 in 2022, 626 in 2021, 670 in 2020, 593 in 2019 and 659 in 2018. It underscores his pivotal role in LSG’s title aspirations. His form will be closely watched by the BCCI national selectors and the team management, especially with the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled right after IPL 2024.

“Yeah, it’s good to have him back. Obviously, he’s done really well, not just for LSG, but for most of his IPL career. He has been part of the top run scorers in most of the tournaments. It’s nice to have a guy like him in our team. He is the captain. He keeps things chilled, relaxed and clear, which makes life easier for the rest of us. It’s good to have him back with us again,” De Kock quipped.

But what makes Rahul a good captain?

“He’s very cool and handles pressure, really well. He keeps everything clear with everyone, to their role clarity. He does that really well with everyone. He listens to other people, which is a big thing,” the South African opener said. Quinton added: “It’s not just about the way he sees the game. He also wants to understand the game from other people’s heads, which is also a big thing when it comes to leadership. And keeps things very simple.”


Quinton de Kock grabbed headlines once again when he was omitted from Cricket South Africa’s central contract list. However, the veteran opener clarified that he never sought a contract from the board as he plays only one format for SA.

“No, I never wanted a contract. I just want to go out and play cricket. I don’t want to be contracted to anyone anymore. I just want to play cricket on my own terms. And it makes no sense. Even if they offered me a contract, which they have tried, it makes no sense to me to sign a contract just for one format, that, too, for a World Cup which is every two years,” the 31-year-old said. “I’m older in my career. Rather get a youngster in and invest in youngsters, who could replace me in my spot for other formats. If I was thinking about cricketing terms, that’s what I would do.”

de Kock showcased his prowess during the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 held in India, scoring 594 runs in 10 matches, including four centuries, the highest in the tournament. Despite his stellar performance, South Africa narrowly missed out on reaching the final, losing to eventual champions Australia in the semi-final by three wickets.

It was a heart-breaking end to de Kock’s ODI career. Despite their strong performance during the league stage, South Africa’s defeat in the semi-final still hurts de Kock.

How’s life post-ODI-retirement?

“2024 has been a relaxed year so far. We had the SA League and after that, it was probably the first time I was able to spend some time at home since before the World Cup. It’s about five months, which is nice. I just to like get home and have a break from cricket before the IPL. It was really nice, and it’s been a chilled year,” the Proteas keeper said.

De Kock will have another go at the trophy in the ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played in the Caribbean and the USA. But, does the ODI WC loss hurt?

“Yeah, the defeat hurts. We played such good cricket and to lose in the semis…suddenly you ask yourself a question…just if you did one or two things better, would you have actually won the game? It was a very low scoring game but had a lot of wickets so it made for an exciting game, but unfortunately, we couldn’t come out on top,” de Kock said. “Obviously, it’s quite disappointing, knowing that we played against the odds early in the tournament, and we killed them. So, we had a lot of confidence going into that game. But I just don’t know. I think South African cricketers need to go to see a witch doctor before they play any cricket World Cups ever again. It’s a hard pill to swallow.”

A dejected de Kock after ODI World Cup semis (Photo: X)

With de Kock on the cusp of touching the 3000-run mark in IPL, he would want to guide Lucknow Super Giants to an IPL trophy. In international cricket, the southpaw is at the very end of his career, so a T20 World Cup trophy would just be icing on the cake for an iconic cricketer, who has entertained cricket fans for more than a decade.

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