Tuesday, September 22

Simon Harmer: Brexit set to end South Africa-born spinner’s England hopes

Simon Harmer
Simon Harmer helped Essex win the County Championship in 2017 and 2019

Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer feels his hopes of playing for England are over, after changes to the Kolpak rules.

The Pretoria-born 31-year-old has played in five Tests for South Africa but had hoped to qualify to play for England through county cricket.

South Africans have qualified for England as non-overseas players under the Kolpak ruling since 2004.

But Brexit has seen the England & Wales Cricket Board change its guidance.

Asked if he believed his England ambitions were over, Harmer replied: “I think so.

“With the Kolpak ruling changing, as far as I know with clarity, the Kolpaks will fall away at the end of the year when England leaves the EU and therefore the door closes.

“I have explored trying to get on to a different visa so that I can have more rights, in terms of buying property and a whole load of other things, but I got a very stern ‘no’ from [head of cricket operations] Alan Fordham at the ECB.

“As far as I am concerned there is no future there.”

Harmer averages over five wickets per game, having taken 232 in the County Championship since joining Essex in 2017.

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