David Wiese joined a sudden outflow of South Africa players into county cricket in the close season of 2016-17 when, at 31, he signed a three-year deal with Sussex, joining his compatriot Stiaan van Zyl. Wiese had not played international cricket since March 2016, and shunned a call-up for a home T20 series against Sri Lanka in making his decision to go the Kolpak route.
An imposing allrounder, with the skills to take pace off the ball and a strong lofted drive, Wiese was a late bloomer who came to prominence in the shorter formats. He began his career at Easterns and in 2005 established himself as a regular at the provincial union and the Titans franchise.
As Jacques Kallis’ career wound down and South Africa needed to search for other options, Wiese came into contention. He was taken on the 2013 tour of Sri Lanka and played in the three T20Is, but modest returns sent him back to the domestic system.
The 2014-15 summer was among Wiese’s best, with impressive performances in the Titans’ One-Day Cup win helping nail down a more regular place in South Africa’s T20I squad. A career-best 5 for 23 against West Indies in 2015 highlighted his ability to bowl cutters and slower balls, and the IPL was watching: in that year’s auction, Wiese was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for US$460,000.
He went to the World T20 in 2016, but after failing to nail down his spot, went down the Kolpak route. After a lean 2017 season with Sussex, he improved in 2018, taking 41 wickets and passing the 500-run mark in the Championship and providing late-order impetus as his side reached the Vitality Blast final, while his breath-taking 171 off 126 balls in a 50-over defeat at Hampshire was one of the innings of the county 2019 season.