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Simon Harmer of Essex unsure if he will return to international cricket with South Africa |  Cricket News


Essex star Simon Harmer was not available for South Africa during the deal with Kolpak in county cricket, but is now a foreign and eligible player for Proteas once again; spinner says ‘this opens the door to international cricket again, but there is much more than just a decision’

Last updated: 07/04/21 14:36 ​​pm

Simon Harmer played five tests for South Africa in 2015 but is not sure if he will play for his county again.

Essex spinner Simon Harmer is unsure whether he will return to international cricket with South Africa, saying his future plans will likely come down to ‘business decisions’.

The 32-year-old has taken 250 wickets for Essex over the previous four seasons, having ended his career with South Africa by signing a Kolpak deal with the Chelmsford club in 2017.

Harmer – who had been linked with qualifying to play for England – is now on an overseas deal in Essex with Kolpak contracts, which gave sportsmen from countries with associated trade agreements with the European Union the same rights that EU workers ended as a result of Brexit.

This opened up the possibility for the bowler to play for the Proteas, for whom he made five test appearances in 2015, taking 13 wickets averaging just under 30 with a best of 4-61.

Simon Harmer of Essex unsure if he will return to international cricket with South Africa |  Cricket News

Harmer has helped Essex win three red ball titles in the past four seasons

Talk to Sky Sports News on the eve of the county championship season, Harmer said: “It opens the door to international cricket again, but there is much more than just a decision like this.

“The ambition has always been to play international cricket again and under Kolpak’s decision I had lost the right to play for South Africa.

“But I’m 32 now and it’s more of a business decision. I have to make sure I make hay while the sun is shining, so to speak, and maximize my earning potential while I can.

“I think County Cricket offers me that, but obviously there are tough decisions to be made.”

Simon Harmer of Essex unsure if he will return to international cricket with South Africa |  Cricket News

Simon Harmer of Essex unsure if he will return to international cricket with South Africa |  Cricket News 1:58
Harmer says he can’t wait to team up with compatriot Peter Siddle (pictured) at the 2021 County Championship

Harmer says he can’t wait to team up with compatriot Peter Siddle (pictured) at the 2021 County Championship

Harmer – who has helped Essex win three red ball trophies in the past four years, the County Championship in 2017 and 2019, and then the Bob Willis Trophy in the truncated 2020 season – plans to play beyond 40 years.

The spinner also believes his county is in a good position to win red ball silver again this campaign, which they will start in a group alongside Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire, Durham, Derbyshire and Warwickshire.

He said: “I really want to play as long as possible.

“Guys like Ryan ten Doeschate and Marcus Trescothick played until 40 and over [in county cricket]. I feel like if I can take care of myself, there’s no reason I can’t do that.

“We are obviously confident that we will be able to defend our titles. The club has an extremely strong youth structure – a lot of players coming out on the pitch have gone through the academy.

“We’ve had some good signings over the past few years, like Peter Siddle, and have built a strong team.”

On Australian veteran Siddle, who won 221 wickets in 67 tests for the Baggy Greens, Harmer added: “The club have always been good at signing good characters and Sids is one of those guys.

“He’s one of the great guys in cricket. He brings that to the locker room, always helping the bowlers and the young guys. On the pitch he’s extremely precise and takes care of himself. You can always count on him. “

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