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The reality of Dean Foxcroft’s position hit home even more yesterday.
Travis Muller is the lucky recipient and a worthy one. The right-arm seamer has worked hard for opportunities.
But for the South African-born Foxcroft it is another reminder his cricket career is in limbo.
The talented all-rounder returned to the Republic when the 2019-20 season was cut short by Covid-19.
He had planned to return to New Zealand in time for the 2020-21 season but was prevented from returning due to New Zealand’s border restrictions.
The 23-year-old, with the help of Otago Cricket, exhausted every option available to secure an exemption but was declined.
He missed the entire season but tried again in the hope of being able to play for the Volts this summer.
His bid was met with another rejection. But Foxcroft, who was named Volts batsman of the year in 2019-20, is not abandoning hope.
He told the Otago Daily Times he still hoped to immigrate to New Zealand and perhaps even play for the Black Caps in the future.
"Obviously [I’m] feeling hurt and disappointed about it but it’s something out of my control," Foxcroft said in an email.
"We are going to keep pushing and trying and hopefully one day I can get back into New Zealand.
"We are still looking into what I can do here in South Africa. But it won’t be a long-term thing.
"It will be [on] a game-to-game [basis], as my priority still lies in New Zealand and I would like to be flexible enough to return to New Zealand whenever I can."
The Otago Cricket Association has vowed to keep up the fight on his behalf and Foxcroft said they had been a huge support during a challenging time.
"Ahh mate, the support from Otago cricket has been outstanding. I can’t thank them enough for what they are doing for me and my wife to ensure that we do get back to Otago.
"I am lucky that they are going through all this effort just for me."
While Foxcroft has not been able to get into the country to play the game he loves, others have had more luck.
The Steel was able to bring in English shooter George Fisher for the season. The Otago Nuggets got clearance for American Isaiah Moss and Australian Geremy McKay and the Highlanders brought in Japanese loose forward Kazuki Himeno.
"[Immigration New Zealand] said that I am not considered an essential worker as my skills are already obtainable in New Zealand," Foxcroft said.
"But, yeah, the reasoning doesn’t feel consistent.
"But it’s not the end of the world. I am 23 so I am still young, so hopefully I can get back in the next six to 12 months then I can start over and build my career from there."