Cape Town - An uncertain future in South
Africa and Cricket South Africa’s quota system played a part in him leaving the country,
ex-Proteas all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe says.
Van der Merwe, 30, last week announced that he
was leaving the Titans for a career with the Netherlands after obtaining Dutch
Van der Merwe pursued a Netherlands
passport through his Dutch ancestry and it was secured on Monday, June 29.
He made his debut for his adopted country
last Friday, scoring an unbeaten 40 runs and talking 2/27 against Nepal.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but I believe
it’s in the best interests of my career and my family,” Van der Merwe told
Netwerk24 from Amsterdam.
“Just over a year ago, me and my wife
(Juanita) started talking about the possibility of moving to the Netherlands.
“When the chance arrived, we just had to
“It’s not nice to admit it, but South
Africa is currently not the place where I want to bring up my two daughters.”
He also said Cricket South Africa’s
controversial quota system played a part in his decision to move abroad.
From next season, all South African
franchise teams would be required to field at least six players of colour in
their starting teams. Of those six, three must also be blacks Africans.
“It (quota system) wasn’t the only consideration,
but definitely played a role,” said Van der Merwe.
“My cricket has improved markedly over the
last few years and I believe I still have a few decent years left. I have to make
the most of it.”
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 2012/13 and 2013/14 Sunfoil Series 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 Proteas.
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 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 run-scorer.
He continued his amazing transformation
last season and pioneered a new batting spirit which inspired the Titans
top-order to record 10 centuries.