After starring for the Proteas in the Test arena in recent months, Duanne Olivier has effectively called a halt to his international career by opting to sign a Kolpak deal in English county cricket.
Yorkshire announced on Tuesday that the 26-year-old paceman has signed an initial three-year contract, subject to clearance through Kolpak regulations.
It means that Olivier will join the likes of Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw, who have chosen the security of a long-term overseas deal instead of trying to play for South Africa.
“I came over to the UK last year (at Derbyshire), and thoroughly enjoyed my time playing county cricket. I have since realised I could happily base myself there for the foreseeable future,” Olivier said in a club statement.
“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.”
Olivier was the Man of the Series against Pakistan over the festive period, taking 24 wickets in the three Tests.
He was part of a mean-looking Proteas pace attack that included Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, with Lungi Ngidi still making his way back from injury.
But now, the Knights spearhead will be lost to South African cricket due to taking up the Kolpak deal.
Olivier has taken 48 wickets in 10 Tests at an average of 19.25.
“I would say I’ve been in good form for the last few years. It has definitely been my most consistent period, and I think my stats could attest to that,” he said.
“I have definitely enjoyed playing Test cricket. The Pakistan tour was by far my stand-out tour. I loved every moment of that tour. It’s definitely one I won’t forget.
BREAKING: The Yorkshire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce the signing of fast bowler Duanne Olivier, who will join the club ahead of the 2019 campaign, subject to clearance through Kolpak regulations.#YourYorkshire— Yorkshire CCC (@YorkshireCCC) February 26, 2019
“I would be lying if I said this wasn’t a difficult decision to make. It’s giving up playing for my country, with no guarantees of playing international cricket again.
“But at the end of the day, I needed to be true to myself. I’ve only got this one chance to see where my talent can take me, and Yorkshire just felt right to me.”@ashfakmohamed