Fast bowler Viljoen joins Derbyshire

Derbyshire has signed South Africa international fast bowler Hardus Viljoen on a three-year deal, committing him to the Club until the end of 2019.

The 27-year-old paceman will be available for all formats for Derbyshire, subject to successful registration under the Kolpak ruling.

Viljoen, who is currently ranked number one in the South African Cricketer’s Association’s domestic MVP rankings, has featured in 92 first-class matches since making his debut in 2008, claiming 367 wickets at an average of 26.

He has also played in 119 limited overs fixtures during his career, claiming 158 wickets at an average of 27 and best figures of 6-19.

The right-arm paceman has previous county experience with Kent appearing in four games at the end of the 2016 season, claiming 20 wickets at an average of 19.

Director of Cricket, Kim Barnett said: “We’re delighted to secure Hardus to lead our line for the 2017 campaign.

“It was clear last summer that we lacked a consistent threat with the ball, and we feel Hardus fits that bill. He’s a strike bowler who can bowl over 90 miles-an-hour and has experience both internationally and here in England.

“It’s an exciting time for the Club as we regroup with a strategy that leaves the Captain and players in charge of their own destiny and Hardus will play a leading role both on and off the field.”

Chairman, Chris Grant added: “At the end of the season, we committed to improving the squad to ensure we could compete more strongly in 2017.

“We have targeted senior players who know how to win the critical moments in matches and will work alongside our own talented youngsters. We look forward to welcoming Hardus to Derbyshire.”

Viljoen said: “I’m very happy and honoured to be joining Derbyshire. The Club has plans to challenge in all forms from day one next summer and I’m excited they have decided I’m the man to help them do this.

“The changes made both off and on the field are a big factor in my decision that Derbyshire is the right move for me at this stage of my career.

“I’ve had a brief taste of county cricket last season and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now it will be my main focus and I can’t wait to charge in on that first game in 2017.”

Join Hardus at Derbyshire in 2017. The Club has reduced its price and simplified its categories to offer one single Club Membership at only £139 if purchased before 1 February Early Bird deadline.

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