Centurion - Experienced former South
African all-rounder and Titans stalwart, Roelof van der Merwe, has announced
his plans to leave the franchise and South African cricket and pursue a new
career for the Netherlands following a prodigious season for the Centurion-franchise.
Van der Merwe pursued a Netherlands passport through his
Dutch ancestry and it was secured on Monday, June 29.
Van der Merwe will represent the
Netherlands immediately and will seek to become part of the Dutch ICC Twenty20
World Cup squad in March and April 2016.
He will also attempt to play county cricket in England as a
European Union local citizen.
Van der Merwe was the leading four-day run-scorer for the
Titans in the 2014/15 season, managing 774 runs at an average of 55.28.
The middle-order batsman struck three centuries including a
remarkable double-hundred as the Titans broke their century-drought which
yielded only one score beyond three figures in the Sunfoil Series of 2012/13
and 2013/14 seasons.
Van der Merwe featured in 13 One Day Internationals (ODIs)
and 13 T20 Internationals for South Africa in 2009 and 2010 and captured 31
wickets as left-arm spinner. His three for 27 was his best return for the
Although he was not re-selected for South Africa after
2010, a resurgent Van der Merwe was arguably the Titans’ best bowler in the
limited-overs format two seasons ago.
His 15 wickets in 12 matches enabled the Titans to rally
and reach the Momentum One Day Cup final in 2013/14, which was washed out,
resulting in shared spoils for the Titans and the Cape Cobras.
Van der Merwe started the batting renaissance of the Titans
in the 2013/14-season with his five half-centuries and was the leading
He continued his amazing transformation last season and
pioneered a new batting spirit which inspired the Titans top-order to record 10
“His indomitable spirit and defiance has endeared Roelof to
the Titans-fans and to a wider South African audience. He had a
never-say-die-attitude and was extremely motivated to make a difference and to
win matches for the Titans,” said Rob Walter, the Titans coach.
“He was a player who really epitomised what it meant to be
a Titan. He constantly set the standards for all to follow. He will certainly
leave the local stage proud of what he had achieved while
playing some of the best cricket of his career.
“The fact that he was the first-class cricketer of the year
last season bears testimony to that. Along with the team, I wish him all the
successes he deserves moving forward. I wish to thank him for all the hard
yards he put into training in order to achieve personal and team success. The
changeroom just won’t be the same without the Bulldog,” said Walter.
“It has been a privilege and an
amazing journey to be part of the Titans family for the past eight years,” said
Van der Merwe.
“My cricket journey will
continue, but I have decided on a different path that could be beneficial to my
long-term career and family life.
‘I would like to thank everyone
at the Titans for all the support and hard work. You had a massive impact into
making me the cricketer and person that I am today.
“All these ingredients of the
cricket trade I have acquired at the Titans will be a strong component in my
future endeavours,” Van der Merwe added.
“I will miss wearing the Sky