Proteas all-rounder Vernon Philander calls time on his international career

Vernon Philander with the ball in hand during training in Centurion on December 20 2019.
Vernon Philander with the ball in hand during training in Centurion on December 20 2019.
Image: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

Proteas all-rounder Vernon Philander has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket following a stellar career that saw him represent South Africa for 12 years.

Philander will wear the national colours‚ if fit and picked‚ for the last time when South Africa take on England in the fourth and final Test of the ongoing series from January 25 to 29 next year at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

The 34-year-old is expected to play a leading role when the series-opening Test starts at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Boxing Day in what would be his final series for South Africa.

“I want to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with the opportunity to represent my country for the last 12 years‚” Philander was quoted as saying in statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday.

“It has been a honour and privilege to have played alongside the very best in the game as well as being part of the best test team for a number of years.”

The Cape Town-born star‚ who has played 97 matches across all three formats taking a combined 261 wickets with 1784 runs‚ burst onto the scene with an unforgettable debut Test match against Australia in November 2011.

His 216 wickets in 60 Test matches puts the 2012 CSA cricketer of the year seventh on the all-time list for South Africa.

“Thank you must also go to CSA‚ the Cape Cobras‚ all the coaches‚ management‚ captains and team mates and the very special fans from all over the world for your love and support.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all the sponsors of the game of cricket in South Africa as well as my own amazing sponsors who have become like family over the years‚” said Philander.

Acting CSA director of cricketer and Philander’s former captain Graeme Smith labelled the Cape Cobras legend as “an outstanding performer.”

“He has given his best in every appearance and I think that's how he has turned himself into an all-rounder has been particularly pleasing to watch‚” said Smith.

Acting CSA chief executive Jacques Faul also paid tribute to an outstanding career that also includes 30 ODI appearances and seven T20Is.

“Nobody will ever forget his memorable debut against Australia in 2011 in red-ball cricket or his remarkable opening spell against New Zealand‚ also at his beloved Newlands‚ when he took what was is the fastest five-wicket haul in the history of Test cricket as far as it can be ascertained‚” said Faul.