Somerset have added experienced fast bowler Vernon Philander to their squad for the upcoming season.
The 34-year-old, who would be available to play in all formats of the game for the County, is no stranger to Somerset having 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.
Philander recently announced his intention to retire from international cricket after the current series with England. Since making his international debut in 2007, he has represented South Africa on more than 90 occasions across all formats, claiming over 260 wickets and scoring over 1700 runs.
In Test cricket he has claimed 220 wickets at an average of 21.92 and he reached the 50-wicket mark after only seven matches.
Somerset Director for Cricket, Andy Hurry said: “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 dictate 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.”
Vernon 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% focused on the series against England and then my focus will turn to my next chapter.”