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Dirk Viljoen
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Dirk Viljoen

Zimbabwe
Dirk Viljoen

INTL CAREER: 1997 - 2001

Full Name

Dirk Peter Viljoen

Born

March 11, 1977, Salisbury (now Harare)

Age

44y 61d

Batting Style

Left hand bat

Bowling Style

Slow left arm orthodox

TEAMS

Dirk Viljoen had the makings of a genuine allrounder as a left-hand middle-order batsman and slow left-armer, but ultimately struggled to fulfill his early promise in top-level cricket. He was named Zimbabwe's Young Cricketer of the Year in 1996-97, and, despite not yet having made a first-class fifty, included in the national squad for a trip to Sharjah shortly after his 20th birthday. His footwork and sound technique with the bat promised much, and his bowling showed enough intelligence, with good variation in flight and pace, for him to be a real force for Zimbabwe.

Viljoen was drafted in as a makeshift opener for the first Test of Pakistan's tour in 1997-98, but floundered against a new-ball attack led by Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar and failed to score in either innings. He soon came to be regarded by selectors as a one-day specialist, although with several batsmen ahead of him in the pecking order, he rarely batted higher than No. 8. Nevertheless, he was given a good run in the limited-overs side, his economical bowling usually proving his stronger suit. He also appeared to have found his feet as a batsman with consecutive half-centuries against Sri Lanka in 2000-01, and made 39 in an 82-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Andy Flower as Zimbabwe sealed their first ever away series win with a tense one-wicket victory in the third ODI against New Zealand at Eden Park in January 2001.

Viljoen had played his second and final Test, against India at Nagpur, two months before, and found it a far happier even than his first. He broke his Test duck with 19 in Zimbabwe's first innings, and then added 38 in the second, putting together 113 with Andy Flower to save the match after Zimbabwe had followed on. But his batting increasingly disappointed and his bowling became expensive and he was dropped at the end of the 2001-02 series against England. In 2002 his family farm was repossessed by Robert Mugabe's government, and the future appeared uncertain for Viljoen. But he remained in Zimbabwe, and was one of the group of former players to patch things up with Zimbabwe Cricket in 2009-10, working both as a commentator and in domestic coaching circles.
Liam Brickhill August 2010

Career Averages

Batting & Fielding
FormatMatInnsNORunsHSAveBFSR100s50s4s6sCtSt
Test240573814.2517432.75006010
ODI5343751263*14.2282761.9102265180
FC467181956207*31.04211320
List A8769119957317.1503320
Bowling
FormatMatInnsBallsRunsWktsBBIBBMAveEconSR4w5w10w
Test221056511/141/1465.003.71105.00000
ODI534620751639443/203/2037.254.7347.10000
FC4641171998676/7329.822.9161.4010
List A8730992440633/203/2038.734.7249.10000
Dirk Viljoen - Portrait 2000
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Debut/Last Matches - Player

FC Matches
Span
1994/95 - 2002/03
List A Matches
Span
1996/97 - 2002/03

Photos


Viljoen and Friend take time off during the nets
Heath Streak in conversation with Dirk Viljoen during the nets at Nagpur
Dirk Viljoen in the field for Zimbabwe
Viljoen playing the sweep shot
Dirk Viljoen plays a forceful shot
Bryan Strang celebrates the dismissal of Nevin