Sussex snap up Vernon Philander as overseas signing for first half of 2017

Vernon Philander will be available for six Specsavers County Championship matches, and the entire Royal London One-Day Cup group stage
Getty Images
Vernon Philander will be available for six Specsavers County Championship matches, and the entire Royal London One-Day Cup group stage Getty Images

Sussex Cricket have announced South African international Vernon Philander will be arriving at The 1st Central County Ground as their overseas player for the first half of the 2017 season.

The 31 year-old all-rounder, who has played 37 Test matches for his country, will be available for Sussex’s first six Specsavers County Championship matches, and the entire group stage of the Royal London One-Day Cup tournament.

He has taken 142 wickets in Test cricket at an average of 22.21, and has also taken 41 scalps in his 30 One-Day International matches. He is one of a select group of South African cricketers to have taken five wickets on Test debut.

Philander has several previous seasons of experience in County Cricket, having played for Middlesex in 2008, Somerset in 2012, Kent in 2013 and Nottinghamshire in 2015.

He has most recently been helping South Africa to an impressive 2-1 Test series victory in Australia, and decimated the hosts’ top-order in the Second Test with figures of 5 for 21 in the first innings, as Australia were bowled out for 85.

Philander said of his upcoming stint at Hove, “I'm really looking forward to getting to Hove and playing for Sussex for the first couple of months of the English season. Although I haven't come up against Sussex much in my time playing in England, I've always heard good things about the club and setup.

"Hopefully I can put in some good performances to help the team in both red and white ball cricket, and pass on my experience to some of the younger players who I've heard such positive reports about.

"Mark Davis, the coaching team and Luke Wright are building an exciting squad and I'm excited to be a part of that in 2017."

Sussex’s Head Coach Mark Davis said, “I am thrilled to have Vernon joining us for the first two months of the season. He is one of the leading bowlers in world cricket and to have him bowling in English conditions is a very exciting prospect from the club.

“His international experience with both bat and ball will be invaluable to our young players and we are looking forward to him joining us in April.”