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Former Knights captain Van Biljon retires

───   MORGAN PIEK 08:19 Tue, 16 Apr 2024

Former Knights captain Van Biljon retires | News Article
Pite van Biljon - CSA

“If you're on that, you can't play professional cricket. You can't face Anrich Nortjé running in and bowling at your head. Because you're on blood thinners and it becomes a little too dangerous, or so they say.”

The former ITEC Knights captain and Proteas batter, Pite van Biljon, has been forced to call it a day after a stellar first-class career spanning close to 18-years.

Van Biljon, who played for the Tuskers this season was forced to retire after another blood clot led to him having to go on to blood thinners permanently. This will put him at risk as a professional cricketer, hence the decision to call it a day.

This comes as Van Biljon celebrated his 38th birthday on Monday.

Van Biljon told OFM Sport that just more than a month ago he was put on anticoagulants after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his leg, and as he had them previously, he will be on the medication for the remainder of his life.

“Just more than a month ago I got some bad news that I have a blood clot in my leg, and because I recently had blood clots in my lungs the doctors said for me it will be lifelong on blood thinners on anticoagulants,” said Van Biljon.

“If you're on that you can't play professional cricket. You can't face Anrich Nortjé running in and bowling at your head. Because you're on blood thinners it becomes a little too dangerous, or so they say.”

Pite van Biljon playing a slog-sweep against Pakistan - Cricinfo

Van Biljon added that he had a proper innings as a player, and while he was gunning for Nicky Bojé’s record as the oldest Free State cricketer, his only regret is not scoring more runs.

“I'm very happy and I've had a long career. I probably started breaking through the ranks and franchise cricket a little bit later than I would have hoped for, but that kept me going for a few more years, so I'm very happy with the career I've had.

“The highlight is obviously playing for South Africa and captaining the Knights. The only regrets I've had was throwing my wicket away a few times too many times and I probably should have scored a few more runs. All-in-all I'm very happy with how my career turned out, but obviously I'm very disappointed that it's got to end this way.

“I would have liked to play for three more years or so. I think Nicky Bojé was the oldest guy to play from the Free State. I would have liked to have gone for that record, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.”

Pite van Biljon celebrating one of his 20 centuries in first-class cricket - CSA

Van Biljon scored 12 818-runs in all formats of domestic cricket and represented South Africa in ten T20 Internationals. He scored 20 first-class centuries with a highest score of 212, while also scored 39 fifties and took 94 catches. In List A (one-day) cricket he scored five tons and 15 half centuries, with a highest score of 167*.

While Van Biljon could achieve his goal of breaking Bojé's record, he no doubts goes down as legend of Free State cricket.

Morgan Piek OFM Sport

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