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Van Jaarsveld Picks Kent Over SA
24 Feb 2005
By: Richard Twyman

Kent County Cricket Club today confirmed that Martin van Jaarsveld is to join the Club under the Kolpak ruling. The 30-year-old South African has decided to retire from the International scene in pursuit of a career in the English game, despite being apart of both the Test and One Day squads in recent series.

Dispite this he announced that he had reached agreement with Board of Cricket South Africa for an early release from his playing contract which was due to end in April of this year, allowing him to join up with the English county. However he will continue to play domestic cricket in South Africa, but will now be classed as an overseas player.

Van Jaarsveld's experience at all levels will be a welcome boost to the Kent batting line up after a summer exodus saw the county's squad looking somewhat depleted, but Van Jaarsveld will bring plenty of domestic experience after spending time at Northampton where last season he hit 482 runs at 37 in just seven matches, and performed even better in the shorter version of the game where he managed 246 runs at 49.2 also in just seven matches.

Kent County Cricket Club defended the move of recruiting a player on the Kolpak ruling by stating that they will not be taking advantage of a second overseas player unless the situation changes during the season or if needed as cover and that all Kent's young talents will be given every possible opportunity.

Graham Johnson the Chairman of Cricket went onto say that "We have spent a great deal of time considering the best available overseas options for both this coming season and beyond. It has become increasingly difficult to find players of International standing who are able to commit to the full County programme in any one season and who can do that over a number of seasons. We are, therefore, delighted that Martin has become available to us and we are sure his experience and consistent availability will be of great value to the Club. Although he will be joining us under 'Kolpak' regulations, we remain committed to fielding as many England qualified players as possible in the future, thus ensuring every opportunity is afforded to our younger players and Academy prospects. Whilst at present we do not plan to engage a second overseas player, the option remains available to us should we wish to do so on a short-term basis. We realise that there has been interest in our position on this matter. We would not have been professional in our role to have made any comment prior to today whilst Martin was confirming his future and handling any legal considerations."

On making his announcement to retire from International cricket, and pledging his long-term commitment to Kent, van Jaarsveld commented:

"I have thought long and hard about how best to plan my future in cricket and am delighted that the opportunity has arisen for me to make a real contribution to an English county. I look forward to working with David Fulton and his team with the aim of bringing success to the Club."

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