Graeme van Buuren: Gloucestershire batter eligible to play after becoming British citizen

Gloucestershire's Graeme van Buuren
Van Buuren joined Gloucestershire in 2016 but missed a number of matches this summer

Gloucestershire batter Graeme van Buuren has been granted British citizenship after missing a number of matches last season due to eligibility.

South Africa-born Van Buuren, 31, has lived in Bristol since joining Gloucestershire in 2016.

He applied to become a British citizen but the application was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, while changes brought by Brexit also ruled him out.

County clubs can register three overseas players but only field two.

Van Buuren, who has a British wife and children born in the country, confirmed he was granted his citizenship on 26 November.

"That means I'll be able to play for Gloucestershire as a local player going forward so no more heartache and pain," he said.

Van Buuren scored his third century for Gloucestershire in their opening County Championship match of last season against Surrey in April, but then found himself on the sidelines repeatedly.

He filed to become a British citizen in March, having lived in the UK for five years, but the process took longer because of Covid-19.

West Indies batter Kraigg Brathwaite and Australian fast-bowler Dan Worrall were already at the club as overseas players, with New Zealander Glenn Phillips also signed for the T20 Blast.

Van Buuren had previously played as a Kolpak registration, but following Brexit, the England and Wales Cricket Board changed their registration regulations, meaning he could only play as an overseas player.

"A massive weight off my shoulders, not just for me but for my family and I can't wait for the new season to come, and to contribute towards the team," Van Buuren continued.

"I can't wait to see the boys again in action."

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