Fellow Kolpak-contracted cricketer Simon Harmer has supported former Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier’s decision to pursue a career in English county cricket.
Olivier ended a burgeoning international career for the foreseeable future last month, after signing a contract with Yorkshire. This arrangement won’t allow the 26-year-old to play for the Proteas for the next three years.
‘If you look short term, maybe, because he played all of the Tests this summer – I think that’s why he has taken as much heat as he has. But I think if you look long term and the way things change, with players coming back from injury and who is waiting in the wings, all it takes is one series and you are sitting on the sidelines, back playing domestic cricket,’ Harmer told Rayder Media.
‘So, yes, I think long term it was the right decision for Duanne. I’m sure his critics will disagree with me, but at the end of the day you need to be maximising your earning potential. I don’t think he has made the wrong decision, but I’m sure it is not the popular opinion.’
Spinner Harmer played five Tests in 2015 before pursuing a Kolpak contract with Essex. He continues to play domestic competition for the Warriors in South Africa – and was part of the title-winning Jozi Stars’ squad during late last year’s inaugural Mzansi Super League.
‘I could have hung around for another four or five years and caught the odd tour as a second spinner, but even your performances in domestic cricket don’t guarantee you anything. There isn’t much of a set structure in terms of selection. You could do well and not get selected. You could have an average season and get selected,’ he added.
‘There is not a lot of consistency, and at the end of the day you need to make the right decisions for yourself and your circumstances. That’s what I chose to do. I did chat to a lot of the management staff in the Proteas’ set-up, leading to me making the decision – and I explained why I wanted to do that. And 90% of them said they wouldn’t even think twice about going the Kolpak route. So that kind of confirmed my decision to go the Kolpak route.’