Olivier goes Kolpak

Duanne Olivier (right) in action for the VKB Knights against the Titans at the Mangaung Oval in the 2018/19 4-Day Domestic Series. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The VKB Knights fast bowler, Duanne Olivier’s international career has come to grinding halt after just ten Test matches at the highest level in cricket. The lanky bowler was confirmed as a Kolpak player for the English County side Yorkshire on Tuesday afternoon.

Olivier, who played for Derbyshire in the County Championship last season, turned down a two-year contract by Cricket South Africa (CSA), in order to represent the team in the North of England as a non-overseas player. This means that the wavers his rights to represent South Africa in any form of international cricket.

Earlier in the year, Olivier claimed a staggering 24 wickets for the Proteas during the three-Test series against Pakistan, while in the recent series against Sri Lanka he managed just seven wickets.

The news of Olivier’s move to Leeds was confirmed by Yorkshire before it made international headlines around the globe.

The 26-year-old said that the decision was not an easy one, but one that had to be made.

“My decision might be difficult for some to understand but being a professional cricket player is a short-lived career and in order for me to make the most of all my opportunities, I had to consider all my options.”

CSA, in turn, expressed their disappointment in Olivier not opting to take up a full contract which they had offered him.

The CSA Chief Executive, Thabang Moroe, didn’t mince his words in expressing his displeasure with Olivier. “We find it extremely disappointing that Duanne has taken this step after all the opportunities we have given him, particularly over the past season and going forward, to live his dream of being an international cricketer.

“He was not short of opportunity either, as he played in all five Test matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the current summer and was also considered for white ball selection.”

Yorkshire confirmed that Olivier will be linking up with his teammates as soon as next month when they head to Potchefstroom for their pre-season. Olivier will be available for the VKB Knights in their Momentum One-Day Cup campaign, however, he will not be playing in their next match on Saturday against the Dolphins in Durban, as he is currently nursing an ankle injury. – MORGAN PIEK