Vernon Philander becomes latest SA cricketer to lose county contract
Vernon Philander was set to join Somerset on a Kolpak deal ahead of the English summer.
Former Proteas all-rounder Vernon Philander has had his contract with English county side Somerset cancelled.
The 34-year-old called time on his career the recent Test series against England, and was due to link up with Somerset ahead of the upcoming County Championship.
Vernon Philander sees end to Kolpak dream
He had joined a growing number of his compatriots who had signed Kolpak deals and was initially set to begin life at the county in late April.
However, the start of the season has since been pushed back due to the current global pandemic,
“These are clearly very uncertain and challenging times for all Counties with no cricket until at least the 1st July and the likelihood of a condensed and truncated season.
“Given the current uncertainty the cancellation of his contract was a prudent and sensible decision,” said Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry said in a statement.
“I would like to thank Vernon and his management team for their understanding of the current situation and we hope one day to see Vernon back wearing Somerset colours.”Andy Hurry, Somerset
Future for SA cricketers in England hangs in the balance
Philander was set to join former Proteas all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe at the county, and was the latest South African great to sign a Kolpak deal after calling time on their international careers.
Others to take a similar route include fellow fast bowler Morne Morkel, who hung up his boots in 2018, all-rounder JP Duminy, and prolific top-order batsman Hashim Amla.
There’s an even longer list of South Africans who have signed Kolpak deals, but still open to international cricket, such as Simon Harmer, Duanne Olivier and Kyle Abbot.
However, the future hangs in the balance for these players, with Brexit set to nullify all Kolpak contracts.
Another player to suffer a similar fate as Philander is left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who was fixing to join Yorkshire as an overseas player for the opening games of the season.
The county season was initially set to begin in late April, but organisers have since pushed it back to 1 July.