• Smith, Faul pay tribute to Philander

    Cricket South Africa Director of Cricket Graeme Smith and CSA Acting CEO Jacques Faul have praised the contribution made by Proteas star Vernon Philander, who is set to retire next month.

    Philander made the announcement a few days before the first Test against England as he brings down a glittering 12-year career with one final series.

    ‘Vernon has been an outstanding performer in the time that he has represented his country, especially in the Test format,’ said Smith.

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    ‘He has made a huge impact for the Proteas and has been at the frontline with the ball for most of his time in the set-up. He has given his best in every appearance and I think that how he has turned himself into an all-rounder has been particularly pleasing to watch.

    ‘One of the many things that have stood out for me with Vern is his character, his determination and the way that he has always been up for a fight and a challenge has shown the heart of the man. He has really done himself and his family proud and I hope he can finish his final series for South Africa with the same character and flair that has become synonymous with him.

    ‘I wish him all the best for his future endeavours and I’m certain that he will continue to make an impact on the game we all love in one way or another with future generations,’ Smith concluded. 

    Faul echoed Smith’s words and praised his longevity in the game.

    ‘Vernon has made a huge contribution to the success of the Proteas over the past years, particularly in Test cricket. 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.

    The finest tribute one can pay is that he briefly overtook our acknowledged champion, Dale Steyn, as the No. 1 ranked bowler in Test cricket.

    He also made big contributions with the bat, notably to save a Test match in Sri Lanka, while his all-round contribution with bat and ball went a long way to win the memorable Lord’s Test match in 2012 and earn the Proteas the No. 1 ranking in Test cricket.

    ‘On behalf of the CSA family I thank him for his valued contribution to South African cricket over an extended period of time and wish him everything of the best for his future endeavours,’ concluded Faul.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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