Getting to Know: Hardus Viljoen

Wednesday 7th December 2016
& News
Written by Danny Painter

South Africa fast-bowler Hardus Viljoen has signed a three-year deal with Derbyshire, until the end of the 2019 season. We take a look at his career to date.

Charging in at a height of 6ft 4in, the 27-year-old has an appetite for pace which is satisfied with aggressive deliveries that explode off the pitch.

The right-arm seamer, currently number one in the South African Cricket’s Association’s domestic MVP rankings, has enjoyed a fruitful domestic career that has spanned eight years and one Test match, and he will join Derbyshire after making his county cricket debut last season for Kent.

Hardus featured in a four-matches for the Canterbury-based side at the end of the 2016 season, and marked his debut with a five wicket haul. He finished with impressive stats of 20 wickets at an average of just 19.

He then returned to South Africa, where is currently playing for the Bizhub Highveld Lions – a club which he has represented for four years. Prior to joining the Lions in 2012, Viljoen played for the Titans and Easterns. His domestic efforts have garnered 357 first-class wickets at an average of 26.15.

An all-format player, Hardus has enjoyed domestic success in the white-ball arena, having won the RamSlam T20 competition with the Lions in 2013. He has since accumulated 55 wickets in the shortest format, across 48 matches, at an average of 23.56. He has also taken 103 List A wickets in 71 outings.

His real breakthrough year was in 2015 when he claimed 47 wickets in the Sunfoil Series, the most by any bowler in the four-day competition, and helped the Lions win the series. Furthermore, his performances in red ball cricket was rewarded with a Test debut against England in January 2016.

Dispatching deliveries at 90mph on his home ground, The Wanderers, Hardus struck with immediate impetus – dismissing England Captain Alastair Cook with his very first delivery in international cricket – one of only 20 bowlers to achieve such a feat.

He has since played for South Africa A in Zimbabwe, as well as a Triangular series against Australia A and India A.

He will arrive at The 3aaa County Ground in 2017 as a frontline bowler – a role he is currently profiting from in South Africa, as the leading wicket-taker across all domestic competitions with 36 wickets and counting.

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