Olivier's Kolpak deal 'not good news for the global game', says CSA
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has lamented Duanne Olivier's decision to turn his back on international cricket in order to sign a three-year contract with English county Yorkshire, describing the move as "not good news for the global game".
Yorkshire announced the capture of Olivier on Tuesday, with the 26-year-old seamer committing to a Kolpak deal that will make him unavailable for his country.
Olivier has recently cemented his place in South Africa's Test team - earning player-of-the-series honours in the rubber with Pakistan - and broken into the top 20 of the ICC's Test bowling rankings for the first time, but he described his move to Yorkshire as the "best option for both myself and my family".
He follows the likes of Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw, who both joined Hampshire two years ago, in sacrificing his career with the Proteas to accept a county deal.
2 - Duanne Olivier has taken 48 Test wickets at an average of just 19.3 since the start of 2017; only one bowler (Mohammad Abbas, 18.9) has a better rate in that time (20+ wickets). Signature. pic.twitter.com/K0ElOF7mZG— OptaJim (@OptaJim) February 26, 2019
In a statement, CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said: "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.
"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.
"He was not short of opportunity either as he played in all six Test matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the current summer and was also considered for white-ball selection.
"If one looks at the bigger picture this is not good news for the global game either, that a player who has just broken into the top 20 on the ICC 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."
South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson echoed Moroe's comments and outlined the efforts made to retain the paceman, adding: "We are naturally disappointed with Duanne's decision to sign a Kolpak contract. 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."