Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier has ended a burgeoning international career for the foreseeable future by signing a Kolpak contract with Yorkshire.
Olivier took 48 wickets in 10 Tests between January 2017 and February 2019 – and was named Player of the Series against Pakistan earlier this year.
‘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,’ Olivier told Yorkshire’s official website.
‘I can be whatever type of bowler the team needs me to be. I think there is a lot of stigma around the fact that people think I can only bowl short balls because that is what I’ve done in Test matches. And it couldn’t be further from the truth. If my team asked me to bowl short, that’s what I’ll do.
‘I will fill the enforcer role if needed, and sometimes the team will need me to be a back-up where my job is to tire out and frustrate the batsmen so that another strike bowler may come and take the wicket. I think my strength lies in my flexibility to fill whatever role is required of me. I do like to be the guy the captain goes to when things get tough. And I prefer bowling longer spells.’
The 26-year-old Olivier played for Derbyshire in the County Championship last year – and has since followed the footsteps of countryman and fellow seamer Kyle Abbott, who is with Hampshire on a Kolpak contract.
‘I came over to the UK last year and thoroughly enjoyed my time playing county cricket. I have since realised I could happily base myself there for the foreseeable future. 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,’ he added.
‘I am a bowler who 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.
‘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. 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.’