• Viljoen recalls lack of opportunity

    Former Proteas fast bowler Hardus Viljoen has outlined some of the reasoning behind pursuing a Kolpak contract in the United Kingdom.

    Viljoeon ended a brief international career in 2017 by joining Derbyshire in English county cricket. That agreement has since ended and he has been hired for several global T20 tournaments.

    His travels have included stints with the Northern Warriors in the T10 League in Sharjah, Chittagong Vikings in the Bangladesh Premier League, Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, Kent Spitfires in the United Kingom’s T20 Blast and Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League.

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    ‘I think at that time of my career I was in an era where you had Dale [Steyn], Morne [Morkel], Vernon [Philander], [Chris] Morris and also KG [Rabada],’ Viljoen told Cricket Fanatics magazine.

    ‘At that stage, I was at the back of the line after Marchant de Lange as well, not that I’m saying it’s a bad thing.

    ‘I personally feel like I never got the same opportunities as other players got, to say “Listen, we’re going to give you maybe three or four Test matches to show what your worth is.”

    ‘I feel that it was the only place where I had to fight with myself to accept that I only had that one opportunity.

    ‘To get judged on one opportunity that you had. Some people say, “Yes, if the opportunity comes you must grab it”, and for some people, those things happen and it works out for them.

    ‘At that stage, I thought to myself that they didn’t want me, but that was never the case.

    ‘The more I sat back and reflected I thought “but you weren’t good enough at that stage”. Yes, people are going to judge you on that but it’s not about them.’

    The 30-year-old Viljoen was part of the title-winning Paarl Rocks squad during the 2019 Mzansi Super League and is currently playing for the Titans in the One-Day Cup. He has been retained by the Kings XI Punjab for this year’s IPL.

    Photo: Getty Images

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