Lions coach concerned about Kolpak exodus to England May 10, 2007

van Jaarsveld targets Kolpak deal

Ken Borland

Lions coach Gordon Parsons feels it is a worrying sign for South African cricket that young players like Vaughn van Jaarsveld are making a move to county cricket in England © AFP

Vaughn van Jaarsveld, one of South Africa's brightest batting prospects, is looking to combine playing at home for the Highveld Lions with a Kolpak career with Warwickshire. And his Johannesburg-based employers are not overly pleased with the idea.

According to The Daily Telegraph, van Jaarsveld is currently playing for the Warwickshire seconds on trial, "with a view to signing the talented South African left-handed batsman as a Kolpak player for next season".

van Jaarsveld is 22 and has been selected for an emerging players tour of Australia next month as part of South Africa's high performance program. But after that he may make himself unavailable for national teams if he can get a Kolpak contract for the 2008 English season. Highveld Lions coach Gordon Parsons, the former Leicestershire and Warwickshire seamer, said Van Jaarsveld's reported intentions were concerning, not just for the player's future, but South African cricket as a whole.

"I know that Leicester were interested in him because they're looking for someone to bat at No. 4. Their overseas player has gone home or something. But Vaughn has not spoken to me at all about a Kolpak contract and I would be very disappointed if he didn't speak to me about it. I would advise him not to do it at the moment.

"But if he does get a Kolpak contract, that wouldn't really affect his status with the Highveld Lions. But it would be a disaster for South African cricket because Vaughn's a quality player. We're not talking about older players here that are coming to the end of their careers - like a Lance Klusener, but a young player. Someone needs to do something about it because you've already got Jacques Rudolph going Kolpak, Ryan McLaren's over there and now maybe Vaughn's looking," Parsons said.

Ken Borland works for the MWP agency in South Africa