After signing the Kolpak deal in 2017, former South Africa spinner Simon Harmer is now eyeing to take a large leap. The right-arm off-spinner is harbouring hopes of representing England. Simon Harper signed up for Essex ahead of the 2017 season and has been one of the most impressive performers for the team in the last couple of years or so.
And with England struggling to get a quality spinner in their rank, Simon Harmer has alarmed the selectors by stating that he is keen to follow Jofra Archer and play for England. Simon Harmer has been the standout spinner in the county circuit in the last few years. For the time being, he is focusing on helping his side win their first T20 title on Saturday. Essex will then take on Somerset next week which has become a Championship decider.
And as Harmer gears up a very busy and important week, he has made his intentions of playing for England crystal clear. For South Africa, Harmer played 5 Tests and picked up 20 wickets before deciding to take the Kolkap route. His performance for Essex has been truly remarkable. He has taken 212 first division wickets at 20 apiece in less than three seasons. His latest seven-wicket haul against Surrey handed Essex a 12-point advantage over Somerset in the title race.
“I’d love to play for England,” Simon Harmer told Daily Mail. “I think I’ve shown I have the potential, ability and work ethic to play international cricket again.
“I’ve certainly proved it to myself because you do wonder if you are good enough. I feel I am now, but how can I proclaim to be the best off-spinner in the world when I’m not competing on the international stage? Perhaps one day in the future that could change,” he added.
Simon Harmer, however, is well aware of the fact that the ECB really need to be bold to pick a 30-year-old South African who has played Test cricket before. He further cited the example of Archer to state that the ECB should change the rules to pick him up in the team.
‘There are quite a lot of hoops I’d need to jump through,” admits Harmer. “The ECB would have to deal with the backlash, repercussions and consequences of selecting somebody who has played five Tests for South Africa.”
“But I feel it would be a way of repaying the faith English cricket has shown in me by allowing me to play here. The rules have already been changed to benefit Jofra and allow him to fit into England’s World Cup plans, so if they did want me to get involved they would need to do that again and bend the rules accordingly,” he added.