JOHANNESBURG: Cricket South Africa expressed disappointment on Tuesday at fast bowler Duanne Olivier’s decision to sign a three-year contract with English county Yorkshire which will rule him out of international cricket.
Olivier, 26, was one of the stars of the South African summer, taking 31 wickets in five Test matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He was man of the series against Pakistan after taking 24 wickets at an average of 14.70.
Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe said Olivier had rejected a two-year contract with CSA.
“We find it extremely disappointing that Duanne has taken this step after all the opportunities we have given him, particularly over the past season and going forward, to live his dream of being an international cricketer,” said Moroe.
“He was upgraded to a national contract during the current season on the strength of his outstanding performances in our Test squad and we offered him a two-year contract which would have given him financial security through to the end of the 2020/2021 season.”
Moroe said Olivier’s defection had implications for global cricket.
“This is not good news for the global game that a player who has just broken into the top 20 on the International Cricket Council Test match bowling rankings for the first time should opt effectively to bring down the curtain on his international career in favour of playing only in domestic leagues,” he said.
South African coach Ottis Gibson said he was also disappointed that Olivier had opted to play in England.
“He has been a key feature for us this summer and was without a doubt one of our standout performers. We held several meetings with him regarding his future with the Proteas throughout the summer and even offered him a two-year contract. To see him cut short a promising international career is disappointing. Ultimately, it was a decision we could not control despite our best efforts.”
In announcing Olivier’s signing, Yorkshire County Cricket said on its website that the deal was subject to clearance through European Kolpak regulations.