Eight Kolpak players to make a comeback in South Africa's domestic circuit

Eight Kolpak players to make a comeback in South Africa’s domestic circuit

Kolpak deal states that the players belonging to the countries that have a deal with the EU can participate in any cricket tournament in an EU country without being considered an overseas player

Kyle Abbott
Kyle Abbott. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is all set to host its domestic cricket season as they have announced a reformed structure for the upcoming tournaments. In the new structure, the domestic tournaments will be transformed to a 15-team system for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons, from where promotion/relegation will be in force.

There are a total of eight provincial teams in Division 1 including the likes of Boland and North West are joined by Eastern Province, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Northerns, and Western Province. The squads for the eight provincial teams have been announced and all the 16 national contracted players will feature in the matches. Also, the tournament will see a comeback of as many as eight former Kolpak players.

Kolpak deal states that the players belonging to the countries that have a deal with the EU can participate in any cricket tournament in an EU country without being considered an overseas player. This means they can sign contracts with English county sides without having to be fielded as overseas players.

The South African players also have the liberty of making use of the Kolpak rule as South Africa is part of a deal called the Cotonou Agreement with the EU.

However, a cricket player who has a Kolpak deal under his belt is no longer eligible for representing his own country in the international circuit. However, from January 1, 2021, all the Kolpak deals have been canceled by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with immediate effect due to Brexit.

Mark Boucher opines on Duanne Olivier

Thus, the South African players, who have had Kolpak deals, are free to compete in South Africa’s domestic competitions and will also be eligible for national selections. The eight Kolpak players who have been selected are Duanne Olivier, Stiaan van Zyl, Kyle Abbott, Simon Harmer, Hardus Viljoen, Hashim Amla, Heino Kuhn, and Wayne Parnell.

Hardus, Abbott, and Stiaan will be plying their trade for Boland while Hashim Amla and Wayne Parnell will play for Western Province. Olivier, Simon, and Heino will represent Central Gauteng Lions, Northerns, and northwest respectively. Out of all the aforementioned players. Olivier has a bigger chance of making it into the national team.

Speaking about the same, the Proteas coach Mark Boucher said as quoted by Sports 24, “There are a lot of things that need to happen for him to be even considered. He has to show form at the franchise level. We can’t judge him on what he’s done overseas and what he’s done in the past. He’s got to come into our system and perform properly.”

Free Hit with Sandeep Warrier