FORMER Ramsbottom professional Pieter Malan will make his County Championship debut next season after signing for Warwickshire.

The Bears confirmed Malan as their overseas player for the 2021 campaign with the South African Test batsman set to spearhead their LV=Insurance County Championship line up.

With 10,691 First Class runs to his name at an average of 44.36 and 33 centuries, Malan, 31, will join Warwickshire for the opening four day game at Edgbaston, versus Derbyshire on April 8-11 and he is available for all red ball fixtures.

Malan is fondly remembered at Acre Bottom after playing two seasons in the Lancashire League in 2012 and 2013.

During that time he helped Ramsbottom win the Twenty20 cup and hit the headlines after smashing 165 in win over Rawtenstall.

“Pieter is a very good signing for us,” said Warwickshire’s Director of Cricket Paul Farbrace.

“He has played a lot of cricket in South Africa and he has a very impressive batting average across all three formats. He played against England last winter and I think he has been unlucky not to play more international cricket.

“We have got some very talented young batsmen in our top order and for them to work with, and bat out in the middle with, someone of Pieter’s experience and quality will be brilliant for them.

“Pieter is also a very impressive man, friendly, likeable and polite, but with real inner steel and with a point to prove. I know how much he wants to come to the Bears and score some serious runs.”

Malan has played three Tests to date for South Africa and he represents Cape Cobras in his home domestic competition.

Malan said: “It’s always been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and I’m very excited to be afforded the opportunity at a top county with a proud history like Warwickshire.

“I can’t wait to get to Edgbaston and get started with the Bears.”