Vernon Philander. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Vernon Philander. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Former SA seamer Vernon Philander is the latest high-profile cricketer to suffer the financial effects of Covid-19.

The 34-year-old Philander, who represented the Proteas in 64 Tests‚ 30 ODIs and seven T20s‚ has had his contract terminated with England county Somerset by mutual consent.

Philander‚ who broke into the Test team in spectacular fashion in 2011, called time on his international career at the end of the 3-1 Test series loss against England.

Having bowled well on his two tours to England‚ Philander was expected to have an impact for Somerset. He collected 224 Test wickets at 22.32‚ one of the best averages for bowlers with more than 200 Test wickets.

Somerset’s director of cricket Andy Hurry said the uncertainty over the pandemic and its financial impact prompted the decision.

Philander joins Keshav Maharaj on the contractual sidelines after the left-arm spinner also lost his Yorkshire contract because of Covid-19.

The English county season was supposed to have started on April 12‚ but was postponed after the England and Wales Cricket Board said in April that no professional cricket can be played until July 1.

“These are uncertain and challenging times for all counties‚” Hurry said. “It was such an exciting prospect to visualise Vernon returning to the Cooper Associates County Ground. But given the current uncertainty, the cancellation of his contract was a prudent and sensible decision.”