March 06, 1989, Witbank
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
Fast bowler Hardus Viljoen was one of many players South Africa lost to Kolpak. He had played only one Test, in 2016, when he decided to sign a county contract with Derbyshire.
Viljoen's ability to bowl quickly and unleash a mean bouncer are his greatest assets and they were evident from the early days of his career. He started at Eastern, in Benoni, where in the 2010-11 season, he finished second on the provincial three-day bowling charts. He was signed by Lions and quickly found a home at the Wanderers, where the fast, bouncy track suited his style.
Control was occasionally a concern but Viljoen's strike rate remained impressive as his career developed. He was second on the first-class wicket-takers' list in the 2014-15 (39 wickets at 20.43) and considered moving to New Zealand to further his career but stayed to try and challenge for a South Africa spot. He made a strong case when he topped the domestic bowling charts in 2015-16 with 47 wickets at 23.02, and in a summer during which the South African attack was plagued with injuries, he was the obvious choice to step up.
Viljoen made his Test debut on his home ground against England in Johannesburg. He hit a four off his first ball and took a wicket with his first delivery - that of England captain Alastair Cook - but that was as good as it got. He ended with 1 for 94, South Africa lost the match and series, and he was not retained for the final match.
During his time with Derbyshire, Viljoen added more variations to his repertoire, including the dipping slower yorker, which helped him when he turned T20 freelancer in 2018 (he went on to play in the PSL, CPL, IPL and the T10). He returned to the South African domestic set-up in 2021 after Kolpak deals were cancelled following the UK's departure from the European Union.
Batting & Fielding