LONDON - Duanne Olivier has revealed he wants to play Test cricket for England after turning his back on South Africa.
The 26-year-old, who signed a three-year Kolpak deal with Yorkshire last month, has a Test bowling average of just 19 from 10 Tests for the Proteas.
He would qualify to switch international allegiance in time for England’s 2022 home summer under the new qualification regulations introduced by the ECB in January.
That is dependent on him gaining British citizenship, spending at least 210 days annually in the UK for the next three years - and not featuring in his homeland as a local player during that period.
"I accept that my Test career is over for South Africa but if I do well, hopefully in the future, I can play for England," said Olivier. "You always need to put your mind to certain goals."
The ECB relaxed their eligibility criteria this winter, bringing them closer to the rest of world cricket, in a move that saw the British-passport-holding, Barbados-born Jofra Archer become available for selection for England as of this week.
Back in 2010, the ECB imposed their own seven-year qualification period for players over the age of 18, superseding International Cricket Council guidelines on the subject. This was partly in a bid to stem the flow of Kolpak cricketers - those hailing from African or Caribbean countries who retain rights to be treated as locals when working in the EU. In doing so, the ECB were effectively reducing the chances of an individual being able to play for an adopted country while still in their prime.
Generally, that was successful, with the age profile of Kolpak cricketers tending to be late 20s or 30s. In contrast, Olivier, who Cricket South Africa say was offered a two-year central contract before making his career switch, is 26.
The ICC reduced their own sit-out period for men and women switching countries from four to three years recently and the ECB came into line with that timeframe.Daily Mail