Skelmanthorpe is pleased to confirm the re-signing of dual Passport-holding all-rounder, Kian Schwartz, for their 2024 Drakes Huddersfield League campaign.

The South African enjoyed two barnstorming summers in the Two Counties Cricket Championship (Saturday) for East Bergholt, alongside stints in the North Essex Cricket League (Sunday) for Colchester and East Essex (2021), and Clacton-on-Sea (2022), before another stand-out season for Skelmanthorpe last summer.

In his 61 matches for these clubs across his two seasons, Schwartz racked up 5 centuries, and 20 fifties amongst 2,664 runs at 49.33, all with a strike rate over 100. He also bagged 92 wickets at 21.64, with 2 five-wicket hauls.

In 2021, Schwartz finished the season amongst the leading run-scorers in Division 1 of both the TCCC (704 runs at 41.41), and NECL (424 runs at 70.67) with his two TCCC explosive tons the highlights, namely 114 (87), and 147* (98).

In 2022, the trend continued finishing third on the TCCC run charts (899 runs at 47.32) behind established overseas first-class batters Max Chu (New Zealand), and Kudzai Maunze (Zimbabwe). Notably, he finished comfortably ahead of established professional South African batters including Eben Botha, and Sibonelo Makhanya. With the ball, whilst not as prolific as his previous season (34 wickets at 18.15), Schwartz still topped East Bergholt’s wicket charts to finish just outside the top ten league (Div 1) wicket-takers (28 wickets at 28).

Courtesy of his club exploits he trialled with Sussex County Cricket Club, and has high hopes of securing 2nd XI County matches in 2024 and beyond.

In 2023, Schwartz relocated north to take up a role with Skelmanthorpe in the Drakes Huddersfield League. Despite limited opportunities in the top order, he still impressed when he had time in the middle, but was an essential cog in their bowling attack taking his fair share of wickets (48 at 19.94).

Prior to heading to the UK, Schwartz was an integral member of Boksburg’s 1st XI who plays in Easterns Premier League. The British Passport holder has been one of the stand-out club sides in the competition over the past two decades. The former home club to Proteas quick Andre Nel, Boksburg is the only Easterns club to win the National Club Championships (2000). They have since won several Premier titles and regularly feature towards the top of the Easterns tables.

Schwartz is an aggressive top-order batter who bowls skilful seam up. Since his 1st XI debut, he has played over 50 matches with an average of just under 40. He also enjoyed further success in New Zealand, playing the 2022/23 season in the strong Hawkes Bay competition for Havelock North Cricket Club.

Not only a promising cricketer in the outdoor format, but Schwartz has also excelled in Indoor cricket, where he has represented South Africa at Under-17, 19, and 22 level. He was ranked the third-best player at the Under-17 World Cup in New Zealand, then in October 2022 was the highest run-scorer and wicket-taker for South Africa a the U22 World Cup in Australia.

Alongside playing both versions of the game, he is a keen and CSA Level 1 (UKCC 2 equivalent) accredited coach, who runs his own coaching business called “Fun-Go Sports”, coaching children aged 5 to 13.

Schwartz is a promising cricketer who is currently playing Premier cricket in the Hawkes Bay (New Zealand), but will return to Skelmanthorpe for a second stint in 2024.