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Grant Roelofsen signs with Essex for Royal London Cup campaign

Grant Roelofsen signs with Essex for Royal London Cup campaign
Grant Roelofsen signs with Essex for Royal London Cup campaign

The Eagles have added Overseas batter Grant Roelofsen to the squad for the Royal London Cup.

The 26-year-old, who represents the Dolphins in his native South Africa, has been playing club cricket for Billericay and has made three appearances for the Essex Second XI Team.

Roelofsen has an excellent record in all three formats of the game, averaging over 40 in first-class cricket and 35.56 in T20, but it's in List A cricket where he boasts his best record, averaging 42.94 in his 38 appearances with a best of 147*.

After representing South Africa Schools XI and then South-Africa Under-19s, his domestic record has seen him talked about as a future South Africa player.

Since joining Billericay at the start of the 2022 season he has dominated, scoring 1553 runs in 17 games at an average of 103.53 with five 100s and eight 50s and is the leading run-scorer in the Essex League.

His three appearances for Essex Second XI came in the Second XI Championship where he made 364 runs in 6 innings at an average of 60.67 and impressed the Essex coaches.

Educated at the prestigious King Edward VII School in Johannesburg, Roelofsen joins a long list of sporting alumni which includes current CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, former South Africa batter Neil McKenzie and rugby and golfing legends, Bryan Habana and Gary Player.

Identified as a talent at a young age, he represented South African Schools as a 17-year-old, playing alongside Kagiso Rabada after a series of strong performances for Gauteng Under-19s.

Roelofsen went on to make his debut for South Africa Under-19s against England Under-19s at Fenner's in Cambridge. He achieved immediate success, scoring 149 in the first innings against a bowling attack including Matt Fisher and Luke Wood.

His maiden first-class appearance came in 2016 for Gauteng against his current side KwaZulu-Natal Coastal and after top-scoring in the first innings with 51, he has been a staple of domestic cricket in South Africa since.

In the 2019/20 season, he was the leading run-scorer in the Momentum One Day Cup and won the CSA Momentum One Day Cup Player of the Year as well as the CSA Domestic Players' Player of the Year and Dolphins Player of the Season.

On signing for the Eagles, Roelofsen said: "It has been a whirlwind 48 hours, but as soon as I found out there was a chance to represent Essex in the Royal London Cup I was desperate to grab that opportunity.

"Having played with a few of the guys in the Second XI in the past month I know they're a great bunch and I hope that I can contribute towards a strong campaign."

Head Coach, Anthony McGrath added: "Grant's a player who has been on our radar for a while and his track record speaks for itself.

"Everyone is trying to manage depleted squads as best they can so to be able to add a player of his quality into the batting line-up is a massive coup for us."