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Rudolph puts SA cricket on hold
24 Jan 2007
By: Zac Gelman

South African batsman Jacques Rudolph has set aside his immediate international future with the announcement of a three year contract with England county side Yorkshire.

The decision will leave Rudolph unable to play cricket for South Africa, although he is still under a central contract.

"This was not a decision to take lightly and I discussed the matter fully with Mickey Arthur and Haroon Lorgat," he said.

"We all agreed that this experience would be good for my cricket.

"Cricket is a game where you have to learn and improve all the time, and I believe that playing county cricket will give me new and valuable experience."

Yorkshire chief executive Stewart Regan was full of praise for his star new recruit saying Rudolph would be a valuable addition to the team.

"He's a great guy - intelligent, articulate, and, of course, a fantastic player," he said.

"He's gone through hell in terms of having to decide whether to give up international cricket at this stage of his career, but he believes his ambitions are best served by playing county cricket and he's extremely enthusiastic about representing Yorkshire.

"At the end of his contract Jacques could go back and play for South Africa, or he could continue in county cricket and perhaps even go on to qualify for England.

"All I know is that we've signed a quality international batsman and it's a fantastic boost after the period we've had."

Cricket South Africa's chief executive, Gerald Majola, had no problems with the move and has hopes that Rudolph will return a much improved cricketer.

"Eventually, all parties agreed with Jacques' view that the county experience would make him a better player at this stage of his career," he said.

"CSA has nurtured Jacques since he was a teenager and we regard him as one of our national assets."

Rudolph has scored 2,028 runs in 35 Tests, but had a poor 2006 and was eventually left out of the side during the latter part of the year.

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