Dean Elgar: Shukri Conrad the reason my Test career was cut short

Dean Elgar cricketDean Elgar.

Former Proteas batsman and captain Dean Elgar retired from international cricket in December 2023 – 11 months after the appointment of Test coach Shukri Conrad.

Elgar was appointed Test captain in March 2021. He was replaced by new Test captain Temba Bavuma in March 2023, shortly after Conrad was hired.

“It felt as though they did not recognise all my hard work over the previous year and a half, that they didn’t realise how much we had improved as a team,” Elgar told Rapport.

From being sixth or seventh in the world, we became a team with the potential to play in the World Test Championship final.

Shukri Conrad is the reason why my Test career was cut short.”

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Elgar recalled the period after Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith’s resignation in March 2022. Former Proteas interim team director Enoch Nkwe eventually replaced Smith as CSA director of cricket.

“I became a part-time cricketer and full-time politician, something that I never want to go through again,” he added.

“I am a sportsman, not a politician or a cricket administrator, but I was thrown into a cauldron in which I had to be all three. If I had known that before, I would never have accepted the captaincy.

“I tried to make the best of a bad job, to control the things I could control. But my own form took a dive.”

Elgar has since joined Essex in county cricket – and has struck one century and two half-tons since debuting in the County Championship in early April 2024.

“I think I don’t fit into the South African situation as it is now and probably into the future,” concluded Elgar.

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