Heino Kuhn has become the latest South Africa international to take the Kolpak route into county cricket after signing a contract with Kent.
Kuhn, the Titans wicketkeeper-batsman, opened for South Africa in all four Tests on their tour of England last year, although he only averaged 14.12 with a top score of 34 and has since been replaced by Aiden Markram. Kuhn, 33, has also been capped seven times in T20Is. He will be available for Kent in all formats.
“I’m delighted to get the opportunity to play county cricket and I’m looking forward to joining the Kent squad,” Kuhn said. “I want to contribute positively to the team and bring my experience from winning trophies in South Africa.”
Kent have been in need of a top-order batsman after the departure of Sam Northeast and will be strengthened by the arrival of a player who has scored almost 10,000 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 43.48, with 23 hundreds.
He will join another South Africa-born top-order batsman, Sean Dickson – who has a UK passport – at Canterbury, as well as former fast bowler Allan Donald, who has recently started in the role of Kent’s assistant coach.
Paul Downton, Kent’s new director of cricket, said: “We’re delighted to welcome a player of Heino’s quality and experience to the club. We believe Heino can complement our talented batsmen across the three formats and serve as a mentor to those coming through the ranks.”
The South African game has seen a drain of players give up on their international careers in order to take advantage of the financial security offered by county deals. Last year, Kyle Abbott was the most prominent Kolpak departure, while Morne Morkel has been linked with several clubs after announcing his South Africa retirement last month.