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Former South Africa Test batsman Stiaan van Zyl extends Kolpak deal with Sussex

"I'm looking forward to many more games."

Stiaan van Zyl of Sussex celebrates after taking the wicket of Wayne Parnell of South Africa
Stiaan van Zyl of Sussex celebrates after taking the wicket of Wayne Parnell of South Africa. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Former South Africa batsman Stiaan van Zyl who plays for English county side Sussex has extended his Kolpak deal, the club has confirmed. The 31-year-old left-hand batsman, who played 12 Tests for his country between 2014 and 2016 and has one international hundred, joined Sussex ahead of the 2017 season and has scored over 1,500 runs in the first-class format since then at an impressive average of over 44. This he has done despite missing much of the 2018 season because of injury.

Van Zyl’s decision has left all the parties pleased. Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie, a former Australian fast bowler, said they were delighted to learn that the batsman has decided to continue his stint with the club. “He’s a senior batsman of international quality who contributes significantly with his performances and he’s a great lad on top of that,” Gillespie was quoted as saying, South Africa’s Sport24 reported.

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“We like to make sure our players are learning from each other and Stiaan sets a great example in terms of his approach to his preparation as well as how he goes about things out in the middle,” the 43-year-old former member of Australia’s famed pace battery of the late 1990s and 2000s, said.

Van Zyl also didn’t forget to thank the county side. “I am extremely grateful to sign an extension with Sussex,” he told Sussex website. “Since starting in 2017, I’ve enjoyed every second at the club and with my team-mates. I’m looking forward to many more games with this wonderful club.”

Van Zyl has been in terrific form for Sussex across formats

Van Zyl’s last match saw him scoring an unbeaten century against Durham in County Championship Division II that helped his team register a 6-wicket win despite conceding a first-innings lead.

Van Zyl has also scored 400 runs in 17 one-day and T20 games he played for Sussex Sharks. Overall, the man has over 10k first-class runs, over 3k List ‘A’ runs and almost 1,500 T20 runs. He has a total of 31 tons in first-class and List ‘A’ cricket combined.

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