Heino Gunther Kuhn
April 01, 1984, Piet Retief
Right hand Bat
Heino Kuhn joined the exodus from South Africa into county cricket when he was told by Cricket South Africa that, at 33, he was unlikely to gain further opportunities at international level. He took a Kolpak deal with Kent ahead of the 2018 season and displayed an ambition that suggested his career was far from spent.
Kuhn proved to be an inspired signing as his will to win permeated the Kent dressing room in a summer where they won promotion to Division One for the first time in 11 years and were beaten finalists in the Royal London Cup. He missed out on a century in a consistent Championship season, but he was unstoppable in 50-over cricket as he struck four hundreds in five innings, all of them meticulously judged. In tears when he was out for 127 against Worcestershire in the semi-final because he had not quite guided Kent home, he was soon cheering victory.
That heartfelt dedication to the cause resulted in Kuhn being named interim Kent captain while regular team leaders Sam Billings and Joe Denly played in the IPL. He extended his tenure when, with Billings sidelined by a dislocated shoulder, he offered to take the reins and allow Denly to pursue a Test recall by concentrating on his batting. For a second year running, Kuhn missed out on a first-class century and had to settle for five fifties. Kuhn had a fairly modest year all-round with the bat but he scooped back-to-back Fielder of the Year honours in Kent's annual awards with 23 catches across all formats.
Kuhn had received a South Africa call up on the 2017 tour of England, after 12 years' domestic cricket experience in South Africa, but he struggled on English pitches, his international career ending with four Test caps and seven T20Is and without a single half-century.
A wicketkeeper-batsman, Kuhn first played for the Titans from 2004-05 and for much of that time he cemented his place as their first-choice gloveman. Kuhn's batting undoubtedly worked in his favour. With a good record in all three forms of the game, Kuhn was the second-highest run-scorer in the 2006-07 SuperSport Series with 776 runs at 48.50, and his century against the Dolphins helped the Titans claim the SuperSport title that season.
In 2015-16, Kuhn topped the first-class run charts with over 1000 runs and the following summer he gave up the wicketkeeping gloves to focus on batting. During the 2016-17 season, he was named in South Africa's A squad to tour the UK. A double-hundred against Hampshire and a century against the Lions earned him a long-awaited spot in the Test squad to play England in July 2017.
Batting & Fielding