Glamorgan’s South African batsman Colin Ingram has extended his stay at the county until 2022 and is set to return to County Championship cricket.
Ingram, 35, who has not played first-class cricket since 2017, reverts to his former role as an overseas player.
He will act as overseas cover for Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne in four-day cricket, and become involved in youth coaching at Glamorgan.
Ingram missed the 2020 county season because of travel restrictions.
He played in 31 one-day internationals and nine Twenty20 internationals for the Proteas between 2010 and 2013, before ending his international career in 2014 to join Glamorgan as a non-overseas player under the Kolpak ruling.
The UK’s exit from the European Union means Kolpak registrations – using a European Court ruling to avoid counting as overseas players – were terminated at the end of the 2020 season.
Ingram will now share Glamorgan’s two overseas slots with Queensland pair Labuschagne and Michael Neser, and is also virtually certain to feature for the Welsh Fire franchise team in the new Hundred tournament, which is likely to coincide with the counties’ One-Day Cup.
He has not played since the Pakistan Super League in March, but will return to the field in December for Hobart Hurricanes in Australia’s Big Bash League, where he is due to play 10 games.
“It’s great to re-sign for Glamorgan and get back on board after the uncertainty over my contract and Kolpak players in general,” Ingram told BBC Sport Wales.
“I could fill in a lot more in Championship cricket as well when Marnus is away and spend a lot more time around the club.
“Most people would say I’m mad but I’ve really missed red-ball cricket and being settled in an environment with a team, being able to give more back to the club.
“Coaching is something I’ve dabbled in at the club and in South Africa, I’d really like to spend more time with people at the club, hopefully giving those younger guys some advice and the tools to grow their game; especially in the 15-20 age group, it’s something I’m working towards.”
Ingram’s previous retirement from four-day cricket came after he struggled with a knee injury, playing only T20 matches for Glamorgan in 2018 and 2019, but he is convinced he will be able to deal with a return.
“I would love to play for another five years. Physically I feel better than I did five years ago. I had a good knee clean-up [in 2017] and from that moment I’ve been able to push myself again,” he said.
“Those long hard days in the field will be challenging, but I’m looking forward to getting back to where it started, and when I was growing up in South Africa all we wanted to do to play Test cricket.”
While he hopes to be based in Cardiff for the next few years, Ingram will still have a spell as a globe-trotting “bat for hire” where Covid-19 restrictions allow, before returning to Wales.
He will complete a 14-day quarantine in his Perth hotel before his Big Bash stint, with his “entertainment” including four hours putting together a treadmill which was delivered in pieces.
Ingram will then play T10 cricket in Abu Dhabi and may feature in South African domestic cricket or the Indian Premier League before a much-awaited return to Glamorgan colours.