Harmer plays down chances of Proteas return, says CSA must 'swallow their pride'

Simon Harmer (Getty Images)
Simon Harmer (Getty Images)

Former Proteas off-spinner Simon Harmer has admitted that the likelihood of him representing South Africa again is pretty slim.

Harmer, 31, played five Test matches for the Proteas after making his debut against the West Indies in 2015. However, he was not a regular in the side and decided to further his career in England under a Kolpak deal.

He has flourished in the bowler-friendly conditions of the United Kingdom and was even ranked as one of the top spinners in county cricket in 2019.

With England's decision to leave the European Union, the validity of Kolpak contracts has come under question and there has been suggestion that the majority of South Africans playing cricket under the rule will once again become eligible for international selection.

However, despite this, Harmer admits there is still a lot that would need to happen if he were to ever play for South Africa again.

"There haven't been any proactive discussions from Cricket South Africa's side about what would happen," he said in an interview earlier this week with cricket specialist website ESPNCricinfo.

"And obviously, I don't know how happy Essex would be if there was a three-month tour during the English summer, to just release me and be like, yep, you can go. So I think my main responsibility lies for the foreseeable future with Essex," said Harmer.

"I think there'd need to be a lot of discussions between Cricket South Africa and what they were willing to put on the table before I would consider that option but it's still a long way off yet and a lot can change."

Harmer added that English cricket has given him the opportunity "to become a better person and a better player."

"I would ultimately like to get a British passport and naturalised in the UK, especially for my future family."

Harmer added that there was still "a lot of bad blood" between South African Kolpak players and Cricket South Africa.

"It would take I think, South Africans and perhaps Cricket South Africa to swallow their pride and seek for those players to return to the South African set-up," he said.

- TEAMtalk media

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