Duanne Olivier pours oil on fire with wish to play for England

20 March 2019 - 13:11 By Telford Vice
SA fast bowler Duanne Olivier had a blinder of day on the opening day of the first Test between South Africa and Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion as he took six wickets.
SA fast bowler Duanne Olivier had a blinder of day on the opening day of the first Test between South Africa and Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion as he took six wickets.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

Now bowling for England from the Pavilion End at Lord’s‚ Laurence Olivier …

Make that Duanne Olivier. But the English don’t pronounce his surname like South Africans do: oil‚ four; in Afrikaans.

Instead they say it as they do the name of the famous actor‚ whose grand garlands include four Oscars‚ a knighthood‚ a life peerage‚ a baronet‚ being made Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog by the king of Denmark‚ appointed to the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur and a Grande Ufficiale or the Ordine al merito della Repubblica Italiana‚ and given the Order of Yugoslav Flag with Golden Wreath.

If you think that’s all a bit much for the other Olivier‚ a kid from Groblersdal‚ think again.

“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‚” Duanne Olivier was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“You always need to put your mind to certain goals. Maybe people will think it’s unrealistic but for me‚ if I really do well‚ you never know.

“I can’t tell you what will happen in the future. All I can do‚ as of now‚ is control what I am doing this season and give 100% every game.

“I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and if you just concentrate on doing well that will take care of itself. I don’t think too far ahead.

“Yes‚ it will be a goal to play for England one day and it would be amazing but for now my pure focus is on Yorkshire and just doing well for them.”

Olivier ended his career for South Africa last month when Yorkshire revealed they had agreed a three-year Kolpak contract with the fast bowler.

He had his first outing for his new team on Monday in a pre-season friendly against Durham in‚ of all places‚ Potchefstroom.

Olivier shared the new ball with Ben Coad — a proper Tyke‚ born in Harrogate‚ in case you were wondering — and went wicketless in 14 overs in which he conceded 20 runs.

But in his second over Olivier sent Durham’s Cameron Steel back to the dressingroom‚ retired hurt‚ by way of a bouncer to the helmet.

Next week he and his wife‚ Casey Leigh‚ will make their way to their new home in Leeds‚ and when he takes his next first-class wicket to reach 400 scalps he will be a long way from Groblersdal.

Even Cricket South Africa’s counter offer of a two-year contract hadn’t been good enough to keep Olivier in the country.

Why should it have‚ considering it amounted to around a third of what Yorkshire will pay him each year?

And why shouldn’t Olivier look to play for England? Now 26‚ he will have plenty left to give by the time he has served his three-year qualification period.

Fair enough. Good luck to him.

But then‚ according to the Daily Mail‚ he said this: “I realise some people will understand and some people won’t at all but it doesn’t really faze me what they think.

"At the end of the day‚ it's about what I want to do.”

He doesn’t care what you think‚ Mzansi. That’s sure to pour oil on the fire.

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