Hardus Viljoen: Derbyshire sign South Africa bowler under Kolpak ruling

Hardus Viljoen
Hardus Viljoen's outing in the third Test against England in January, which South Africa lost by seven wickets, is his only Test appearance to date

Derbyshire have signed South Africa international fast bowler Hardus Viljoen on a three-year deal.

Viljoen took the wicket of England captain Alastair Cook with his first ball in Test cricket in January, his only international appearance to date.

The 27-year-old, who played for Kent last summer, will feature as a non-overseas player, subject to successful registration under the Kolpak ruling.

Director of cricket Kim Barnett said Viljoen can "lead the line" in 2017.

"It was clear last summer that we lacked a consistent threat with the ball, and we feel Hardus fits that bill," Barnett added.

"He's a strike bowler who can bowl over 90 miles an hour and has experience both internationally and here in England."

Viljoen has taken 367 first-class wickets at an average of 26.

Kolpak contracts are signed by foreign players, using a European Court ruling to avoid counting against the quota of one overseas player per club.

Kent say they had first refusal on signing Viljoen, but opted not to match Derbyshire's offer for the fast bowler.

A club spokesperson confirmed Kent were interested in bringing Viljoen back to Canterbury and made a formal contract offer to the player back in September.

They will now explore other targets once a new head coach has been appointed.

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