Cricket: Jason van der Merwe joins CIYMS

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CIYMS have pipped a number of clubs for the signature of Jason van der Merwe.

The Belmont club made van der Merwe their third new addition of the winter after Aidan Markram was confirmed as overseas professional and Ryan Hunter joined from Brigade.

It is believed that Hunter, who was van der Merwe’s best man, was a key factor in persuading the former Muckamore batsman to move from Civil Service North.

Challenge Cup holders CSNI have gradually become resigned to his departure and over the weekend van der Merwe was pictured on social media with Hunter, with the hashtag #teammatesagain

The move is a massive feather in the cap for CI because van der Merwe is considered amongst the most promising young batsmen in the NCU and played arguably the innings of the season against them in last season’s Challenge Cup final, when he was named man of the match.

CSNI will be devastated at losing van der Merwe, who won two Challenge Cups with them in 2014 and 2016, and who in the summer started to show the consistency to go along with his precocious talent. He has been named in the Northern Knights winter training squad and hopes to secure a starting place in the interprovincial set-up next summer.

It is believed that van der Merwe’s former club Muckamore were among the other interested clubs. Late last week they unveiled Jarred Barnes as a seam bowling signing from Coleraine.