Wife's passport helps de Lange join Glamorgan

Alex Hales fell to Marchant de Lange for 57 Getty Images

Marchant de Lange, the South Africa fast bowler, has joined Glamorgan on a three-year deal. He has secured the lengthily-delayed move a few days before the start of the county season through his wife holding a British passport.

De Lange meets the criteria to be a Kolpak registration on the basis that as a South African he benefits from the free trade agreement with EU - and therefore does not count as overseas. But unlike the clutch of South Africans who have entered county cricket this season by this route, he would not have qualified for a Tier 5 visa based on his limited number of international appearances, so his wife's British passport was essential in him obtaining clearance.

"I'm 100% committed to playing in English cricket," de Lange told ESPNcricinfo. "I left South Africa behind. It is something in the past now. Moving forward it is really a privilege to be here, and to play as a local here and as overseas South Africa. For the first season I am definitely going back to South Africa, I am contractually bound to play for the Knights as an overseas player, but moving forward this will be my home and this will be where I am based."

De Lange's international record amounts to two Tests, four ODIs and six T20Is for South Africa. His two Tests came in 2011 - when he took 7 for 81 on debut against Sri Lanka - and 2012, while his last international appearance was against England in an ODI last February.

In the recently concluded South Africa domestic season for Knights he claimed 35 wickets at 28.31 in the Sunfoil Series, 11 wickets in 10 Momentum One-Day Cup outings and nine wickets in seven T20 Challenge matches. He will be available for Glamorgan across all formats and is set for his debut in the opening Specsavers Championship match against Northamptonshire. His arrival will help ease the burden on Timm van der Gugten and Michael Hogen who admirably led the Championship bowling last season.

"Marchant is a match winner. He has pace, aggression and he's the right age and at the right stage of his career to make an impact for us," Robert Croft, the Glamorgan head coach, said. "When you are looking at winning matches in four-day cricket, twenty wickets is the challenge and Marchant is a wicket-taker, but his performances in one-day cricket have also been impressive and he will be a great addition to our squad."

Although not a Kolpak, de Lange joins a lengthy list of South African internationals to have shifted their careers to England during the off-season: Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw (Hampshire), Hardus Viljoen (Derbyshire), Simon Harmer (Essex), Rilee Rossouw (Hampshire), David Wiese and Stiaan van Zyl (Sussex) and Dane Vilas (Lancashire).

"Personally I don't want to go into detail about why guys are turning their backs on South African cricket," said de Lange. "That is based on personal decisions. Obviously, around the world everyone knows what is going on. It is just a personal choice that I made and I am really happy to be here."

"I've not had a lot of experience of English conditions, and stuff like that, but I am really eager to test my skills and see how far I can get. I think even if you have got a bit of pace it is beneficial if you can swing the ball both ways.

"I would like to stay here and play for as long as possible for Glamorgan. It is really a big honour to play for them and to be part of Glamorgan. If there is further things in the future that I can play at a higher level that is definitely one of goals, playing as a local in England."