Name: Duanne Olivier DOB: May 9, 1992, Groblersdal, South Africa Role: Right-arm seamer, Right-handed bat Nickname: Did you know? A keen golfer, Olivier will not be short of someone who fancies 18 holes in the Yorkshire squad
Fast bowler Duanne Olivier’s signing on a Kolpak contract ahead of 2019 was a significant one for Yorkshire given his form in Test cricket for South Africa immediately before putting pen to paper at Emerald Headingley.
And while he took his time to settle during his first full season in county cricket, he still finished as Yorkshire’s leading Specsavers County Championship wicket-taker with 43 from 13 games and showed signs that he could be an excellent acquisition.
He took two five-wicket hauls, including one on his debut – a draw against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in the opening game of the summer.
Olivier’s pace is a standout attribute, and he used it to intimidate many a batsman, often hitting them on the helmet with short balls. He formed an improving new ball partnership with Ben Coad.
When Olivier, now aged 27, signed with Yorkshire on a three-year deal, he was ranked in the top 20 bowlers by the ICC’s Test Match ranking system. But his arrival at Yorkshire meant he had to retire from international cricket.
After making his Test debut in January 2017, Olivier had been unable to nail down his place, playing only five times in a little under two years.
But upon being recalled at the start of December 2018 for a home series against Pakistan, with Lungi Ngidi suffering a long-term knee injury, he showed all his quality, taking 31 wickets in five games, including an 11-wicket match haul upon his return to the side against Pakistan at Centurion.
Olivier hails from a farming town in the Bloemfontein area of South Africa and has had to battle against the quota system prevalent in the Rainbow nation, somewhat explaining his decision to seek pastures new.
He is a right-arm bowler who seems to generate his extra pace through his right shoulder and has the ability to reverse swing the ball and has a good bouncer.
He played his first two one-day internationals against Pakistan in January prior to his final Test series, a defeat against Sri Lanka, in which he took seven wickets.
Olivier made his first-class debut for Free State in March 2011, aged 19 and shortly after playing for South African Schools alongside Quinton de Kock, and is no stranger to English conditions.
He toured here with the South African Under 19s squad later that year, again playing alongside de Kock in a side captained by now England Test opener Keaton Jennings, a Lancashire player he is likely to have a few tasty battles with in Roses cricket over the next few years.
In 2017, he was part of a South Africa A tour, taking eight wickets in five appearances, and it was enough to see him selected for two Tests at Trent Bridge and Emirates Old Trafford.
In 2018, he spent the first half of the county season with Derbyshire as their overseas bowler, taking an impressive 44 wickets in 15 appearances in the Championship and the Royal London one-day Cup.
He took two wickets in a rain-affected one-day defeat against Yorkshire at Derby, a memorable game which Matthew Fisher won with the bat at the death.
Olivier most recently played his franchise cricket for the Knights, having done so since late 2012.
His first wicket for the White Rose – against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities was his 400th in first-class cricket.
Olivier was part of the Jozi Stars team which won the inaugural Mzansi Super League T20 title in late 2018 and was the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 20 from eight matches, regularly proving a menace at the end of an innings.
Yorkshire have long been reluctant to drive down the Kolpak route, with a determination to back their own. When they have done, it has been to add real quality, Jacques Rudolph being the obvious example.
Duanne Olivier definitely fits the bill as well, and there is much more to come in the next few years.
Updated January 2020
BornMay 9, 1992, Groblersdal, South Africa
RoleRight-arm seamer, Right-handed bat
First ClassNorth West v Free State at Potchefstroom, Mar 17-19, 2011