• Olivier: Hopefully I can play for England

    Playing international cricket for England is among former Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier’s career goals. 

    Olivier snubbed a Cricket South Africa contract in exchange for a Kolpak career with Yorkshire earlier this year.

    The England and Wales Cricket Board’s qualification period for players from other Test nations to play for England was seven years. That was reduced earlier this year – and a player may now be selected for England if they:

    • hold British citizenship;
    • were born in England or Wales;
    • have completed three years’ residence;
    • have not played as a local player in professional international or domestic cricket in a full-member country within the last three years.

    ‘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. You always need to put your mind to certain goals,’ Olivier was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

    ‘Maybe people will think it’s unrealistic, but for me, if I really do well, you never know. I can’t tell you what will happen in the future. All I can do, as of now, is control what I am doing this season and give 100% every game.

    ‘I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and if you just concentrate on doing well that will take care of itself. I don’t think too far ahead. Yes, it will be a goal to play for England one day and it would be amazing, but for now my pure focus is on Yorkshire and just doing well for them.’

    The 26-year-old Olivier took 48 wickets in 10 Tests between January 2017 and February 2019 – and recently debuted in ODI competition. He was an outside contender for a berth in the Proteas squad for the World Cup in the United Kingdom later this year.

    ‘I can understand that people are upset, but I have not played a lot of one-day cricket, especially for South Africa or the A side,’ he added.

    ‘I made my ODI debut only this year, and over those couple of games I think they were seeing what I could offer. Personally, I don’t think I would have been in the World Cup squad, as they have enough bowlers.

    ‘I wasn’t looking too far ahead at World Cup spots being up for grabs, it was just taking it day by day. I thought about everything, and while sitting down with my wife we discussed what were the pros and cons. This was not about looking back and allowing external factors to influence us. It is what my wife and I feel and what we want to achieve.

    ‘For me, it was just the best decision to make. For me and my family, re-locating is the best decision for our future. I realise some people will understand and some people won’t at all, but it doesn’t really faze me what they think. At the end of the day, it’s about what I want to do. I want to see things going forward and I feel like my cricket will improve playing county cricket.’

    Photo: Gallo Images

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