Monton & Weaste sign South African Test star Simon Harmer - 18/03/15

Simon HarmerSOUTH AFRICAN Test spinner Simon Harmer has signed as professional for Monton and Weaste this summer.

The Central Lancashire League Premier Division newcomers have pulled off a coup following the news that Harmer's compatriot Christiaan Jonker, last year's pro, is unavailable because of an impending shoulder operation.

Harmer, an off-spinning all-rounder, made an instant impact on his Test debut in January by taking seven wickets in the match against the West Indies.

And despite the disappointing loss of prolific batsman Jonker, who had an exceptional summer last year with 1,253 league runs, Monton are delighted to have secured such a high-profile replacement.

"We were extremely disappointed when Christiaan had to pull out at such a late stage," admitted chairman Gary Brown.

"He'd had such an outstanding season last year on the way to us winning the Championship that everyone at the club was eager to see what he could do in the Premier against the better bowling attacks.

"He was the most entertaining professional we have had in a long time, and we would turn up each week expecting fireworks.

"Once we were informed of his injury, we had to get on the phone and see what other options were available.

"We had two or three players under consideration, but we were not sold on any of them really.

"When we were informed of the availability of Simon, we thought he would be ideal. Simon is an off-spinning all-rounder who plays for the Chevrolet Warriors franchise. He has played regularly for South Africa A in recent years and made his Test debut in January, taking seven wickets.

"It has always been the ambition of myself and our Treasurer, Keith Brookes, to have Test cricketers plying their trade at our wonderful club. We can't wait for the season to start now.

“Although an away game at the champions Norden (April 19) is not ideal, Simon assures me that he is 'eager to do the business for Monton and Weaste'.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be finishing top three. It’s ambitious, but if you’re not ambitious, what’s the point in doing anything.”

South Africa play two Tests in Bangladesh, which could affect Harmer's availability at the end of July and in early August.

Monton's first home match is against local rivals Clifton on April 26.


 To view Simon Harmer's full profile click here


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