If the Proteas are going to continue getting the best out of Quinton de Kock, he’ll need to be shielded from the public eye.
Russell Domingo, South Africa’s coach, admits team management are very conscious of too much pressure being heaped on the exciting wicketkeeper-batsman for the ICC Champions Trophy and tour of England.
De Kock’s massive worth to the side’s cause was illustrated by him walking away with six accolades at Cricket South Africa’s annual awards ceremony last weekend.
That haul included being named SA Cricketer of the Year.
“Managing Quinton is going to be massively important for us,” said Domingo on Tuesday, shortly before the Proteas departed for the United Kingdom.
“He’s a guy who doesn’t like these type of things (media conferences and engagements).We’ve got to try and keep him away from the public spotlight as much as possible. We must avoid unnecessary engagements with him.”
Indeed, De Kock has never been known as much of a talker and tends to keep his thoughts simple and to-the-point.
Following his successful night in Kyalami last Saturday, the 24-year-old showed again that he’s rather a doer – as more than 1800 international runs this season attests to.
“I really don’t want to say too much about the Champions Trophy,” said De Kock.
“I don’t want to jinx myself or jinx the team. We just want to be that team who go there and do our best.”
Little wonder then Domingo is unapologetic about the potentially limited access the cricketing fraternity might have of him.
“We need to free him up on the days when we can,” he said.
“Quinton is the type of guy who likes having some time by himself. We need to give him that.”
Of course, there’s also the incentive that leaving De Kock to mind his own could produce even more spectacular results.
“He’ll be the first to admit that he hasn’t done well at a world tournament yet,” said Domingo.
“In the 2015 World Cup he did perform below expectations and is keen to make up for that. It’s an exciting thought.”