The Yorkshire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce the signing of fast bowler Duanne Olivier, who will join the club ahead of the 2019 campaign, subject to clearance through Kolpak regulations.
The White Rose beat off competition from a number of other counties to secure the signature of the Groblersdal-born 26-year-old. Olivier has penned an initial three-year deal with the Club and will link up with his new team-mates for the first time during the fortnight-long pre-season tour to Potchefstroom early next month.
The South African quick made his Test debut in January 2017, and has since taken 48 wickets in 10 Tests at an average of 19.25. He is just one short of 400 wickets in the 96 First-Class matches he has played to date and was the leading wicket-taker for the Knights in 2018-2019, Cricket South Africa’s four-day franchise series, notching 27 dismissals in six matches.
Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon continued: “We’re delighted that Duanne has agreed to join us. He’s a proven wicket-taker as we’ve seen in the series’ against Pakistan and Sri Lanka recently. He’s also got genuine pace so he gives us a different dimension within our seam bowling attack. We’re mindful that we’ve got some talented young seamers, but several of them have had injuries so we have to manage them carefully over the next couple of years. It gives us that strength in depth to compete on all fronts.
“To get someone of Duanne’s ability is a huge boost and we’re all looking forward to him joining us. He will meet the lads in Potchefstroom for about six days and the plan is for him to get over here in time for the Leeds-Bradford MCCU game.
“We hope it’s going to be a long-term signing, it’s for an initial three years but we’re hoping it will be for longer than that. As a person in the dressing room, I think he’ll be really strong for us. I think the fact he’s giving up international cricket for South Africa to play here shows his commitment and I think he’ll be a great asset for us.
“He played for Derbyshire and we were impressed with what we saw. We’ve tracked his career in South Africa and obviously he has been selected for the Test team and we’ve seen what he’s capable of in international cricket. He’s an impressive man as well as a cricketer and he’s very ambitious going forwards.”
First XI Coach Andrew Gale said: “Duanne has been on the radar for a while. We’ve kept our eye on him and he’s obviously had a fantastic time over the winter in South Africa. To sign someone of his quality will be a great addition to our squad.
“We want the young, Yorkshire bowlers to come through, the likes of Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, Josh Shaw and Matthew Waite, but at this moment in time I’m not sure they can handle the workload of playing every game. To bring in an experienced bowler like Duanne will take the pressure off them. He’s a proven wicket-taker, a man who is right at the top of his game and in great form at the moment.
“To be successful, particularly in championship cricket, you need to have seven or eight front-line seamers. Playing most of our cricket up north at Emerald Headingley, Scarborough and York this year, the pitches are going to offer a bit to seamers. We need strength and depth and we’ve certainly got that now.
“We watched him bowl for Derbyshire last year, and he did really well. To sign a guy who is right at the top of his game, in his prime is fantastic, and he will fit in really well.”
Olivier told yorkshireccc.com: “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.
“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.
“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.”
In December 2018 he took 24 wickets across the three Tests against Pakistan and was named the player of the series. He backed that up seven wickets in the two-match contest against Sri Lanka, which ultimately finished in defeat for the Proteas in Port Elizabeth.