Heino Kuhn, after given limited opportunity as an opener for the Proteas last summer, has cut his ties from the national side and signed a Kolpak deal with Kent.
The Titans wicketkeeper-batsman opened for South Africa in all four Tests on their tour of England last year, although he only averaged 14.12 with a top score of 34 and has since been replaced by Aiden Markram. Kuhn, 33, has also been capped seven times in T20Is. He will be available for Kent in all formats.
‘I’m delighted to get the opportunity to play county cricket and I’m looking forward to joining the Kent squad,’ Kuhn said. ‘I want to contribute positively to the team and bring my experience from winning trophies in South Africa.’
Kent have been in need of a top-order batsman after the departure of Sam Northeast to Hampshire and will be strengthened by the arrival of a player who has scored almost 10,000 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 43.48, with 23 centuries.
He will join another South Africa-born top-order batsman, Sean Dickson – who has a UK passport – at Canterbury, as well as former fast bowler Allan Donald, who has recently started in the role of Kent’s assistant coach.
Kuhn is the first South African to sign a Kolpak deal this year, although rumours are circulating about the destination of Morne Morkel, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket.
Last year, eight players signed Kolpak deals, led by Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw.
Northamptonshire have signed former Boland’s U19 wicketkeeper-batsman Ricardo Vasconcelos.
The 20-year-old, who was born in Johannesburg but has a Portuguese passport is not an overseas player, although it is reported that he has given up his right to represent South Africa.
Vasconcelos, who represented the CSA Invitational XI against Zimbabwe in December has scored two centuries and three half-centuries in his first 10 first-class games.