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South African all-rounder Beyers Swanepoel to join Kent - as Cricket Australia decline fast bowler Xavier Bartlett permission to play County Championship cricket for the county

A South African all-rounder has agreed to join Kent on an all-format deal - to replace Xavier Bartlett.

Beyers Swanepoel, 25, will be available from May 1 until the end of the season.

He will miss Kent’s first three County Championship Division 1 matches this summer but could make his debut against Lancashire at Old Trafford from Friday, May 3.

Swanepoel’s impending arrival was announced by Kent on Thursday afternoon as part of an overseas reshuffle on the eve of the season.

Cricket Australia declined to issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) in order to manage now centrally-contracted fast bowler Bartlett’s workload after a busy winter, in which he featured heavily in the T20 Big Bash League and The Sheffield Shield, as well as making T20 and One-Day International debuts for Australia.

Kent director of cricket Simon Cook said Cricket Australia’s decision hadn’t come as a shock while he also revealed they had “looked very carefully” at signing Swanepoel earlier in 2024.

“We’re really excited by the potential that Beyers has and what he can offer us this season,” explained Cook, who initially had hoped to have Bartlett available to play the majority of red-ball and white-ball cricket at the start of the season.

“We looked very carefully at him earlier in the year but, at that stage, he hadn’t played the required games to qualify as a viable overseas signing for us.

“He’s a genuine all-rounder who provides extra batting depth for us across all formats - a gap that we’ve looked to fill with our overseas players this year.

“Xavier Bartlett’s steep rise has been great to see. National boards are always going to protect their best assets, so it wasn‘t a shock when we received news from Cricket Australia that they would be