Duanne Olivier quits international cricket, signs Kolpak deal with Yorkshire

Duanne Olivier quits international cricket, signs Kolpak deal with Yorkshire

Olivier's international career was finally taking flight after he starred for the Proteas during their home series against Pakistan a couple of months ago.

Duanne Olivier
Duanne Olivier. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Kolpak curse has struck again as South Africa have lost yet another player to the exodus which has rocked their cricket in the last few years. The latest high-profile player from the African country to join the list is fast-bowler Duanne Olivier. The pacer said turning his back on international cricket and his country is “possibly the most difficult decision” he’ll ever have to make as he gears up to make his career in England’s domestic arena with Yorkshire.

South Africa have lost quite significant numbers of talented cricketers to Kolpak. In recent times, the likes of Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw, Morne Morkel, and Wayne Parnell were some of the big names to turn to England. Olivier, who played in last week’s Test series against Sri Lanka, has penned down a three-year county deal with Yorkshire, subject to clearance through Kolpak regulations. He will join his new teammates during their 15-day long pre-season tour to Potchefstroom early next month.

“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,” he said in a statement on Instagram.

Here’s his Instagram post

Olivier made his Test debut in January 2017. Ironically, he had replaced Kyle Abbott, who had then signed for Hampshire. Since then, Olivier has taken 48 wickets in 10 Tests at an average of 19.25. Olivier is not new to playing cricket in England. Having already played two Tests there, he has also plied his trade for Derbyshire but as an overseas player.

“I came over to the UK last year and thoroughly enjoyed my time playing county cricket,” Olivier told Yorkshire’s website. “I have since realised I could happily base myself there for the foreseeable future.”

“I was originally looking to come back as an overseas player but when I got a long-term offer from Yorkshire as a Kolpak I knew that signing for the club would be the best option for both myself and my family. I am a bowler that wants to keep pushing myself to see how far I can go and as I enter my prime I want to be in the best possible situation to grow. Another big reason was the longevity of my career,” he added.

Tough decision

Olivier’s international career was finally taking flight after he starred for the Proteas during their home series against Pakistan a couple of months ago. He took 24 wickets across the three Tests and scooped the player of the series award. In the subsequent series against Sri Lanka, he picked up seven wickets to move to career-best 19 spot in ICC’s Test bowling rankings.

Unsurprisingly, he said the decision to bid adieu to international cricket was a tough one.

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