KATHMANDU, Dec 4: Biratnagar Warriors has announced the signing of former South African and current Dutch international cricketer Roelof van der Merwe for the upcoming season of Everest Premier League (EPL) in Kathmandu on Monday.
The 33-year-old has represented both South Africa and the Netherlands in 13 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 25 T20 internationals at the world stage.
The Dutch veteran is fondly known as Roela and is current Somerset Cricket County Club contracted player. He had the most recent franchise stint with Maratha Arabians in the T10 cricket league that Northern Warriors won on Sunday.
Roela first came to limelight when he won the player-of-the-match award in his T20 International debut for South Africa against Australia in 2009. which eventually propelled him to get lucrative contract with Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit Royal Challengers Bangalore in the same year.
He has played franchises all around the world including Delhi Daredevils in IPL itself, Brisbane Heat in Australia’s Big Bash League, Titans in South Africa’s domestic setup, St. Lucia Zouks in Caribbean Premier League etc.
He later opted to settle down with a Kolpak contract with Somerset County in England whilst qualified for the Dutch international cricket team helping them regain the ODI status earlier this year by winning the ICC World Cricket League championship.
Similarly, Roela’s Somerset and the Netherlands teammate Paul van Meekeren was also announced as second overseas signings by the defending champions of the EPL.
The Amsterdam-born right-arm fast bowler has played 4 ODIs and 23 T20Is for the Dutch cricket team.
The 25-year-old drew attention during the World Twenty20 qualifiers in 2016 when he produced a spell of 4 for 11 against Ireland. A trial match at Taunton Vale, plus the success of his Dutch compatriot Timm van der Gugten at Glamorgan, was enough for Somerset to offer him a short-term deal midway through the 2016 season which they extended to a two-year deal until the end of the 2018 season.
He made his Somerset first-class debut against the Pakistan tourists and followed up with T20 and List-A debuts for the Club in the same season, catching the eye in a NatWest T20 Blast fixture at Cardiff where he bowled with genuine pace. The following season, in his sole Championship appearance, he took four wickets on debut against Essex at Chelmsford.
Likewise, Warriors have also confirmed the extension of former Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat’s contract for the upcoming season as well.
But he will join the squad only after finishing his duties with national team in ACC Emerging National Cup to be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka which coincides with the EPL. He had scored most runs and boundaries in last year’s EPL.
And, Smeet Patel, the left handed batsman and spinner from Gujarat of India, who also played for Paras Khadka’s team in Pokhara Premier League (PPL) will be Warriors’ fourth foreign signing for the upcoming season.
Only three foreign players can be included in the playing XI by each franchise in the upcoming EPL starting from December 8 at TU international cricket ground in Kirtipur, Kathmandu.
Raza and Rath withdraw from EPL
The Zimbabwean superstar Sikandar Raza has withdrawn his participation from the EPL. He was playing for Kathmandu Kings XI.
“Gutted to announce that I will not be part of @eplt20official (EPL) for this season. I hope to be part of it next year. My sincere apologies to all my well wishers in Nepal,” Raza tweeted on Monday. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kings XI Raj Jung Thapa blamed on-arrival visa issues for Raza’s miss.
Likewise, the mainstay of Hong Kong national cricket team and Biratnagar Warriors, Anshuman Rath has withdrawn his name from the EPL after an injury has forced him out for weeks.
The left-handed opener broke his hand batting in the nets, and will be unable to join the national squad as they head to Pakistan, where they will take on Pakistan, Bangladesh and the UAE in Group B of the ACC Emerging Nations Cup