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Former South African cricketer wants to explore career as a professional umpire

He scored a hundred in Test debut against Windies but was forced to take the decision.

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

Former South African cricketer Stiaan Van Zyl who had a brief career as a Test cricketer for South Africa is looking forward to shaping up a career as an umpire. The left-handed batsman played only 12 Test matches for the Proteas between 2014 and 2016. He was one among the many South African cricketers to sign the Kolpak deal as he went onto play for English county Sussex in 2017.

Earlier, an impressive performance in the domestic circuit in 2013 had helped Van Zyl earn his maiden Test call-up for the national side in 2014. It was a dream as the southpaw scored a century against West Indies at Centurion to get things going at the highest level. However, being irregular in the side didn’t help his cause as he could only manage 395 runs at a meagre average of 26.33.

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Knee injury

Given his international and domestic experience, Van Zyl was believed to add more value to Sussex in his maiden stint for the county. He had a decent first season with the county where his 166 not out against Leicestershire was one of the highly praised knocks. However, it was the knee injury in 2018 which threatened his longevity as a cricketer.

As a result, he opted to umpire for the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) in the ongoing WPCA 2018/19 season. His stint in the 2018/19 Premier League will end in January next year as the cricketer looks forward to a career in umpiring for the future. He will also stand in as the umpire for Saturday’s Premier League fixture between Claremont Cricket Club and Victoria Cricket Club.

“I will hopefully go into umpiring after my playing career – that’s the plan,” Van Zyl was quoted as saying by Sports24.

The 31-year old who signed a three-year deal with Sussex that began from 2017, had made it clear that he will not play any further part for Sussex in 2018. “He is getting his rehab. He won’t take further part this season, ” Jason Gillespie, the team coach had said.

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