Derbyshire’s new paceman Viljoen can’t wait to be let loose

Derbyshire welcome new South African signing Hardus Viljoen at the start of April.
Derbyshire welcome new South African signing Hardus Viljoen at the start of April.

Paceman Hardus Viljoen says he can’t wait to be let loose to lead the Derbyshire bowling attack, and hopes he can carry his good form in South Africa this winter into the new county season.

The 27-year-old, who has signed a three-year deal, is currently representing Highveld Lions in South Africa where he has enjoyed a successful campaign to date.

Viljoen is the leading wicket-taker in the domestic Twenty20 competition, claiming 19 wickets at an average of 16, and the second leading wicket-taker in the four-day competition, with 25 scalps at an average of 30 and best figures of 6-75.

He is due to arrive at The 3aaa County Ground at the start of April and told derbyshireccc.com: “I am very much looking forward to being part of a new team. It’s a fresh set-up at the club and I can’t wait to get started.

“I’m reasonably happy with my season in South Africa so far, so I am very pleased with where I am at the moment. The experience I got from playing county cricket with Kent last year helped me a lot as well, so I’m looking to take that forward with Derbyshire.

“I have been bowling this winter as fast as I have bowled in my career. There is a fine line between knowing when to bowl quick and knowing when to just take the pace off, but I think it’s down to the wickets that you play on and conditions.

“In South Africa, if you play down at the coast, you’re not going to bowl at 100% of your capability because you’re not going to get the rewards. But if you’re playing in Victoria, where there’s a lot of pace and bounce, then you can let loose.

“Idenitifying the different situations and conditions is something I can take forward into the county game this season. I’m excited to get the chance to lead the attack. It is something I thrive on, and it is a massive honour and a privilege to be able to do so for Derbyshire.

“If you are the leader of an attack, you want to set an example, and I hope I can do that.”