DUANNE OLIVIER is confident his previous experience of playing in England will allow him to settle much easier once his 2019 season gets underway at Yorkshire.
The South African fast bowler caused a stir last month when he opted to give up playing international cricket – despite his career still being in the early stages – in order to take up the offer of a three-year Kolpak deal with Yorkshire.
Last week saw the 26-year-old meet up with his new team-mates for the first time on the club’s two-week training camp in Potchefstroom.
He will follow his colleagues back to England later on this month but will be in Leeds in time to make his White Rose debut in the three-day pre-season friendly against Leeds/Bradford at Weetwood on March 31.
It will not be the fast bowler’s first experience of England, however, having previously toured with South African teams – from Under-19s to senior – as well as spending a part of last season with Derbyshire.
It is that more recent experience he believes will stand him in good stead.
“Before coming to Derby, I’d struggled in England previously to find a good length and hit a good area,” said Olivier. “But playing last year was very important.
“What I’ve learnt is that with the new ball you need to go fuller. Especially early season there will be something in the wicket, so it’s about pulling the batsman forward.
“They say Headingley is quite bowler-friendly, which will be great. I do like to be aggressive with bowling short balls as well, but the key is to keep things as simple as possible.”
Olivier is well aware of the impact his decision had on the game around the world, with many notable figures joining the debate over his choice to give up international cricket in order to move to Yorkshire, including West Indian captain Jason Holder.
Before coming to Derby, I’d struggled in England previously to find a good length and hit a good area. What I’ve learnt is that with the new ball you need to go fuller.Duanne Olivier
And while the switch may not have pleased his South African cricket bosses, it is a decision Olivier is fully comfortable with.
“Playing Test cricket is unique – but I feel that I have made the right decision to come to Yorkshire,” added Olivier, who in 10 Tests took 48 wickets at an impressive average of 19.25, making it fully understandable why Cricket South Africa expressed such vocal disappointment at losing what they regarded as a key player in their future plans.
“I’ve seen a couple of games in the past where there’s 2-3,000 people watching a Championship game or even 10,000 at the T20s. For me, the buzz will definitely be there because I am desperate to do well for Yorkshire and myself. For the past couple of years, I’ve been feeling good about my game. I know what I want to achieve.”
JONNY TATTERSAL scored an unbeaten century as Yorkshire brought the curtain down on their two-week training camp in Potchesfroom, South Africa, in a practice game against Durham.
Tattersall ended the second day’s play on 103 not out as Yorkshire scored 294-7 from their 90 overs.
The previous day saw Durham occupy the middle when they scored 287.
Andrew Gale’s side will return home tonight before beginning preparations for their final warm-up game ahead of the 2019 season when they take on Leeds/Bradford University at Weetwood between March 31 to April 2.
The season begins for real with a County Championship trip to Nottinghamshire on April 5.