HOME AND AWAY: Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier has signed for Yorkshire. Photo:MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

Duanne Olivier’s defection to county cricket wasn’t the first time South African cricket lost an up and coming star.

And it certainly won’t be the last.

The news that the 26-year-old turned down a Cricket SA deal to earn pounds is not a new phenomenon in SA sport.

We’ve seen mega star AB de Villiers call it quits to become a mercenary on the world T20 circuit.

There was Rilee Rossouw and Kyle Abbott not too long ago.

But the trend can be seen in rugby too. In fact, in the sport with the oval ball, it happens even more often.

And by the end of the World Cup in Japan later this year, we are all just going to have to accept it as the way things are when Steven Kitshoff and Eben Etzebeth and like jet off to Europe for the big money.


For Olivier, it makes sense to turn down the two-year CSA contract to sign for the three years in Yorkshire. Word on the street is he will earn three times as much at Headingley.

It’s a punch in the gut for fans, for whom the aggressive right-armer was becoming a firm favourite faster than his rise to prominence in the 
Proteas team.

Of his 10 Tests, seven of those were played over this season. And he took 34 wickets during that time.

And for the future of the Test team, this was a huge disappointment.


Not too long from now, Dale Steyn (35) and Vernon Philander (33) will call it quits. 

When that eventuality comes, the Proteas will be short of some options.

What a fearsome trio he would have made with Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.

For any who would point to a lack of opportunities for Olivier due to transformation, they would be sitting the pot mis.

The only number that Olivier is looking at is the exchange rate and his new Kolpak deal will sort him out pretty well.

For Cricket SA, it is a slap in the face. But looking at the talent waiting in the wings, they may be making too much of it.

Lutho Sipamla will soon make the step up. 

Wiaan Mulder will add to the attack with his medium pace.


Also Anrich Nortje is a good option.

So the speedster stocks are well covered.

If CSA, really have something to worry about, it’s the top six in the batting line-up. They will have to do a revamp in that department soon.

But from the looks of the recent 4-Day Series, there is lots of rich talent on the way through.

There is Knights No.4 batsman Keegan Petersen, young Warriors wicketkeeper/batsman Sinethemba Qeshile, his teammate Matthew Breetzke, Cape Cobras opener Janneman Malan who made a big impact.

Then there is Titans ace Tony de Zorzi and Warriors slugger Gihahn Cloete, and talented Cobras all-rounder Jason Smith also on the way.

All in all, SA cricket looks healthy if we can keep some of that talent out of the hands of the county sides.

But looking at SA  Rugby, the day is coming when cricket will also feel the pinch.

[email protected]