Centurion, December 29: South Africa pacer Vernon Philander has agreed on personal terms with English County side Somerset and is set to join them as a Kolpak player. "Somerset County Cricket Club are today able to officially confirm that we have agreed personal terms with Vernon Philander for him to become a Somerset player in 2020," a statement on their website read." The Club will now be working through all of the necessary processes with the ECB in order to be able to register him as a Kolpak player once the current South Africa versus England Test series has been completed.
"It has been widely reported over the last few days that the South African would be joining the County, but the official paperwork required to complete the deal is being finalised with the ECB, with the Club working towards the full procedure being completed successfully in the New Year." The 34-year-old, who would be available to play in all formats of the game for the County, has represented the Club in 2012. During his five-match stint seven years ago he claimed 23 wickets at an average of 21.43 with a best of five for 43 against Middlesex. Vernon Philander Unable to Find Ball Wedged Between Boundary Lines During IND vs SA 1st Test 2019 Makes Twitterati ROFL! (Watch Hilarious Video)
Philander recently announced his intention to call it a day from the international cricket after the ongoing series with England. Somerset Director for Cricket, Andy Hurry was quoted as saying by www.somersetcountycc.co.uk: "Vernon is undoubtedly a genuinely world class performer and we are delighted to have agreed terms with such a talented player. "When the possibility of signing him presented itself, and considering the challenges that we feel lie ahead of us with regards to achieving our aspirations, we felt that it was too good an opportunity to miss.
"To put it simply, he is one of the very best bowlers in the game and he would add quality to any team in the world. His experience and knowledge of the game will also be of huge benefit to our bowling group, especially the young players looking to break in to the First XI."
"When we consider the development that a number of our senior bowlers have made in recent years, and the number of those bowlers who are now playing international cricket or on the cusp of playing International cricket, it is vital for us as a Club to ensure that we have the quality and depth in our squad to fulfill our aims of winning silverware in all three formats."
The addition of Vernon to our bowling unit will enable us to continue to manage the workloads of all of our quality seamers through the demands of a full and demanding season even more effectively.
"As a Club, our procedures usually dictates that we only comment on player acquisitions when the deal is finalised. However, this story has been circulating through various outlets over the last few days and we feel that it is important that our Members and supporters receive information on such speculation through the official channels," said Andy Hurry.
Philander said: "I'm really pleased to have agreed personal terms with Somerset. It's a great Club and I really enjoyed my time there a few years ago. I know that they won the 50-over cup last year and came close in the Championship and hopefully I'll be able to help them to another successful year in 2020. Right now, I am 100 per cent focused on the series against England and then my focus will turn to my next chapter."
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 29, 2019 02:05 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).