South Africa's Vernon Philander waves to the fans as he played his last test cricket match before retiring during the fourth day of the fourth Test cricket match between South Africa and England at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on January 27, 2020. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze / AFP)
CRICKET-RSA-ENG South Africa's Vernon Philander waves to the fans as he played his last test cricket match before retiring during the fourth day of the fourth Test cricket match between South Africa and England at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on January 27, 2020. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze / AFP)
Image: CHRISTIAAN KOTZE

Retired Proteas fast bowler Vernon Philander is keen to maintain his links with the national team and remain involved in a mentorship role.

Philander played the last of his 64 Tests in the series defeat to England at the Wanderers earlier this week having taken 224 wickets and scoring 1,779 runs.

“Big Vern” also featured in 30 ODIs and returned with 41 wickets. He played in seven T20s where he claimed four wickets during an international career that spanned more than 10 years.

“I would like to be involved probably in some mentorship role to help the younger guys who are coming through the system,” said the 34-year-old who is joining English county side Somerset.

“I would like to still be a part of it to make sure that younger players are up to scratch when they eventually make the step up to the national side. That is a role I would like to see myself playing, but as to how we are going to do it, I have to sit down with the powers that be.”

Philander said he learnt valuable lessons from seniors at Western Province as a young player.

“When I started, I played with guys like Charl Willoughby, Alan Dawson and Charl Langeveldt who were all skilful bowlers and I learnt a lot from them,” he said. “I learnt how to apply my trade in a different way and over the years you learn how to be consistent.

“We need to keep on topping up with youngsters and to make sure that we don’t worry about pace all the time.

“We need to make sure that we develop skills of nipping the ball and making sure that we can swing the ball because those are the assets in the game that can make you a great bowler.

“We need to make sure that we keep those skills alive.”

Philander leaves the Test side in a rebuilding phase and he asked the public to have faith in the young team. “This is the start of a new generation, this is a young team and you have to allow people to settle in their positions,” he said.