In a very surprising development, emerging South Africa bowler Duanne Olivier has decided to call it quits for the national team just two years after making his international debut. The 26-year-old has signed a three-year deal with Yorkshire after turning out for Derbyshire last year.
Quite interestingly, Olivier’s debut for the Proteas in 2017 in the longest format was playing a replacement role for Kyle Abbot, who signed a Kolpak deal with Hampshire then. The youngster from Groblersdal has since impressed hugely at the international level, taking 48 wickets in 10 Tests at an average of 19.25, and it would be a huge loss for a South African side that has struggled at home of late.
He had an average outing in South Africa’s loss against Sri Lanka last week, where he could manage just three wickets but was increasingly believed to be the scheme of things for the national side. However, he instead became the latest South African to take the Kolpak deal and agreeing on a three-year county deal with Yorkshire.
"I came over to the UK last year and thoroughly enjoyed my time playing county cricket. I have since realised I could happily base myself there for the foreseeable future. I was originally looking to come back as an overseas player but when I got a long-term offer from Yorkshire as a Kolpak I knew that signing for the club would be the best option for both myself and my family,” Olivier told Yorkshire's website, reported ESPNCricinfo.
“I am a bowler that wants to keep pushing myself to see how far I can go and as I enter my prime I want to be in the best possible situation to grow. Another big reason was the longevity of my career."
Olivier was just gaining momentum as many cricket fans would say, taking 24 wickets across the three Tests against Pakistan in December last year and consequently being named the player of the series. His seven-wicket haul in the 2-0 series defeat against Sri Lanka had even taken him to the No.19 in the ICC's Test bowling rankings.
"I would say I've been in good form for the last few years. It has definitely been my most consistent period and I think my stats could attest to that. I have definitely enjoyed playing Test cricket. The Pakistan tour was by far my stand-out tour. I loved every moment of that tour. It's definitely one I won't forget.
"I would be lying if I said this wasn't a difficult decision to make. It's giving up playing for my country with no guarantees of playing international cricket again. But at the end of the day, I needed to be true to myself. I've only got this one chance to see where my talent can take me and Yorkshire just felt right to me," said Olivier.