English county side, Somerset, have cancelled the contract of South African pacer Vernon Philander for the coming season. Due to covid-19 pandemic crises across the globe, the decision was made with mutual agreement. Recently, Philander announced his retirement from international cricket and expressed his desire to play in England.
He became the first overseas player to have his contract cancelled due to Covid-19 Pandemic. The 34-year old was picked by Somerset to bolster the bowling resources for the coming season. After retiring from international cricket earlier this season, he immediately signed a Kolpak deal with Somerset.
All Kolpak deals will be terminated at the end of the year, the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) have asked the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to increase the number of foreign players so that South African pace could stay with the county side after the end of this season.
Philander was expected to be with the side in the first week of April, but due to growing coronavirus cases across UK has seen all cricketing events put on hold till 1st July. Many county sides have furloughed their staff due to lack of finances. The county teams have been reluctant to fire their employees.
Andy Harry, Somerset Director of Cricket said, “We were really excited to sign Vernon Philander for the coming season, but due to Covid-19 crises, cricket simply cannot resume at the end. It was deemed appropriate that Vernon’s contract be cancelled.”
He stated that it would have been great to see Vernon Philander bowling at Cooper Associate County Ground at Taunton. Harry also expressed his gratitude towards Vernon Philander for understanding the current situation and agreeing on the cancellation of contract.
Vernon Philander has represented South Africa in 101 matches across all three formats. In Test cricket, Philander enjoyed great success and finished with 224 wickets in 64 wickets at an outstanding average of 22.32.