Vilas the latest South African player to sign Kolpak deal

“I’m relishing the opportunity of playing county cricket this summer”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Vilas has become the latest South African player to sign a Kolpak deal.

Vilas joined in the footsteps of pace bowler Kyle Abbott, batsman Rilee Rossouw and all-rounder David Wiese when he signed a two-year contract with Lancashire.

The 31-year-old represented South Africa in six Tests and one Twenty20 International.

“Lancashire is one of the biggest clubs in England and I’m really excited about this opportunity to play my cricket at Old Trafford this summer,” Vilas said. “I’m relishing the opportunity of playing county cricket this summer. It’s going to be a huge challenge personally and I’m already looking forward to linking up with the squad ahead of the start to the season.

“There are a lot of exciting players in the squad and we’ll be hoping to challenge for silverware in all competitions.”

Speaking to the county side’s official website, Lancashire coach Glen Chapple added: “Signing a player of Dane’s undoubted calibre and experience is a great boost as we continue our preparations ahead of the new season. He has an excellent record in First Class cricket and is a very good wicket keeper.

“Dane’s aggressive batting style will see him as an important part of our T20 and one-day sides in 2017, as well as four day cricket.”

Vilas is not the only player Lancashire landed on a Kolpak deal though as former West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul agreed to pen a one-year contract.

Chanderpaul, 42, is the second-most successful batsman in Test cricket for the West Indies as only the legendary Brian Lara scored more runs than him.

Despite his age, Chanderpaul, who retired from international cricket in January last year, is still hungry to play competitive cricket.

“He knows what it takes to be successful and there is no doubt that he will have a positive effect on our squad,” Chapple said. “The talented squad at Lancashire is very young and Shivnarine will bring a healthy level of experience to help guide them.

“Whilst Shivnarine will undoubtedly have an important role to play on the field, his role off the field will be of huge importance to our young players. He’s one of the most experienced international cricketers in the history of the game and it will be a fantastic opportunity for our players to learn from him, in all aspects of the game.”

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