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Kolpak rebel Olivier could be an England player by 2022

20/03/2019

Former Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier has declared his intention to qualify to play international cricket for England.

Under pressure to rush Sussex's gun allrounder Jofra Archer into the national team set up the England Cricket Board recently relaxed their seven-year qualification period for cricketers who move to the country after the age of 18. That waiting period is now three years but comes with certain conditions.

Olivier will not be able to turn out for England if he does not first obtain British citizenship (How hard could that be?), spend 210 days in the UK every year for the next three years and does not play in South Africa for those three years.

In an interview with the Daily Mail ahead of his first season with English county Yorkshire, Olivier made no bones about wanting to turn out for England, saying: I accept that my Test career is over for South Africa but if I do well, hopefully in the future, I can play for England.You always need to put your mind to certain goals.

The 26-year-old Olivier will be 29 when he qualifies but any talk of an England call up will be dependent on the fast bowler impressing in the County Championship. Olivier has shown a slot of promise in the shorter formats as well and may find joy by wiggling his way into the Three Lions conversation with some strong performances in the ECB's frankencricket abomination, the Hundred.

Olivier's international career looked like it was about to take off earlier this year. He made the most of an injury to Lungi Ngidi to establish himself in the Test XI with a man of the series display against Pakistan at the turn of the year but he chose the relative financial security of a Kolpak deal with Yorkshire over battling some of the best fast bowlers in the world for a place in the Proteas side.

The man from Groblersdal will face stiff competition to get into the England side with a number of young quicks emerging across Albion ready to step up to the national team when Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad call it a day. George Garton of Sussex, Tom Helm of Middlesex and Josh Tongue of Warwickshire immediately spring to mind, while Olly Stone has already impressed in an England shirt.

England contracts are quite lucrative as national team deals go and you really can't blame Olivier for setting out to reach the pinnacle of the game again, like any other South African professional who goes abroad seeking greater success we wish him well.

Hamba kahle, Duanne.

Tags: EnglandProteas
LINK: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/kolpak-rebel-olivier-could-be-an-engla...
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