Dane James Vilas
June 10, 1985, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Right hand bat
King Edward VII Prep, King Edward VII School
Dane Vilas made his Test debut for South Africa against Bangladesh in 2015, but his international career was brief. He signed a Kolpak deal with Lancashire before the 2017 season and committed himself to English county cricket.
Vilas made his international debut in a T20I against India. He then went to a triangular tournament between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, but lost his place to the limited-overs captain AB de Villiers, who took over the gloves.
He made his Test debut against Bangladesh in Mirpur, but there was scant satisfaction to be had as four days were washed out, and the series was drawn at 0-0. He was a late replacement for Quinton de Kock in the third Test against England at The Wanderers, after de Kock suffered an injury before play. Vilas arrived 45 minutes after the start of the match, after flying from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg.
Vilas proved to be an excellent acquisition for Lancashire. He was one of the few batting mainstays in their relegation season in 2018, hitting the fourth double century of his career - his 235 not out against Somerset was only four short of his career best - and also shared a tremendous recovery stand with Josh Bohannan which salvaged an unlikely victory against Worcestershire at Southport.
Interestingly, Vilas first gained attention as a fast bowler. He appeared in the 2008 film Hansie, about the life of the disgraced former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje. He was cast as fast bowler Allan Donald by the producers, who wanted to add authenticity to on-field scenes by using real cricketers, if not in this case real fast bowlers.
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