Proteas wicketkeeper Dane Vilas has become the latest to sign a Kolpak deal in England, joining Lancashire on a two-year deal.
The departure of experienced South African pair Ashwell Prince and Alviro Petersen had left Lancashire needing to strengthen their batting resources, so they’ve kept up their Saffa theme with the recruitment of the Cobras ‘keeper, while 42-year-old West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul has also penned a deal.
Vilas follows Hampshire pair Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw to the British Isles, both of whom had their CSA contracts torn up after sharing their news on the eve of the third Test against Sri Lanka.
While their deals were controversial considering their involvements in the national squad, Vilas’ move will be more low-key given his limited role in the Proteas setup. Vilas made his Test debut for South Africa against Bangladesh in August 2015 and most recently appeared as a late replacement for Quinton de Kock in the Test series against England in January 2016.
The 31-year-old has played in 96 First Class matches and has scored 7 580 runs at an average of nearly 40. He has 12 four-day centuries to his name including a top score of 216 not out for Cape Cobras. Vilas has signed a two-year non-overseas contract and will join up with Lancashire in March.
Lancashire coach Glen Chapple said, ‘Signing a player of Dane’s undoubted calibre and experience is a great boost as we continue our preparations ahead of the new season. He has an excellent record in First Class cricket and is a very good wicketkeeper.
‘Dane’s aggressive batting style will see him as an important part of our T20 and one-day sides in 2017, as well as four-day cricket.’
Chanderpaul returns to Emirates Old Trafford having joined Lancashire in the 2010 season. The 42 year-old has scored over 20 000 runs, including 30 Test centuries, in international cricket for West Indies with only Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis having played more Tests than Chanderpaul, who joins Lancashire on a one-year non-overseas contract.
Chapple, commenting on the new signings said, ‘We’re delighted to bring two experienced international batsmen into the Club ahead of the new season. Shivnarine and Dane will form an important part of our side in 2017 and we look forward to welcoming them to Emirates Old Trafford.’
Vilas, commenting after signing the deal said, ‘Lancashire is one of the biggest Clubs in England and I’m really excited about this opportunity to play my cricket at Emirates Old Trafford this summer.
‘I’m relishing the opportunity of playing county cricket this summer. It’s going to be a huge challenge personally and I’m already looking forward to linking up with the squad ahead of the start to the season. There are a lot of exciting players in the squad and we’ll be hoping to challenge for silverware in all competitions.’
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