ONE member of the Yorkshire CCC squad who was particularly looking forward to the start of Specsavers County Championship cricket before the coronavirus pandemic struck was ex-South Africa fast bowler Duanne Olivier.

He finished 2019 - his first full year in county cricket - as Yorkshire’s leading four-day wicket-taker with 43 scalps.

Although Olivier admits he was hoping for better, having retired from international cricket to take up a three-year Kolpak contract.

It was a decision which attracted much attention last February, especially as he was hot property in South Africa, taking 48 wickets in his ten Test matches for the Proteas.

Speaking before Yorkshire’s decision to furlough their entire playing staff, preventing them from giving any further media interviews for the time being, Olivier said: “Last season wasn’t my best, according to my standards. But I learnt a lot.

“It was only the last month or two where I got back to feeling myself - bowling better, anyway.

“But I know where I went wrong. At the end of the day, it’s all about adapting to new surroundings and team-mates, and maybe I was a little bit over eager to impress.

“It was a really tough year, but in a way it was a good year because I learnt a lot about myself.

“I’ve been working more on the mental side of my game this winter.

“The social media side of things was quite interesting to deal with after I made the decision, and I got quite a bit of reaction.

“I still get the odd comment here and there, but I’m better at dealing with it now. I’m not going to worry as much about what people think.

“It was a massive decision, and everybody has an opinion. I respect that.

“But maybe I let what people said get to me more than I should have. We are all human at the end of the day. My pure focus is on cricket now.

“I have nothing to prove to anyone and nothing to lose. But I have so much to gain.”