Former Proteas seamer Vernon Philander will come out of retirement to play for Western Province in the new domestic system starting at the end of the year.
Philander, who called time on his career at the beginning of 2020, will link up with his home team for the beginning of a new domestic era in South African cricket.
And, the 35-year-old is hoping to bring his enormous experience and value to some of the youngsters in the Western Province squad, who will be eager to turn their poor form of recent years around when the new season kicks off.
‘Western Province will have a young squad and there is a big need for me to play a part there, considering I still probably have two or three years left in me and I still have the firepower to perform and do well,’ Philander said in an interview with the Citizen last week.
Philander played a key role in the pace attack during a very successful period for the Proteas in the Test format.
The Capetonian made his red-ball debut for the Proteas against Australia in 2011, taking 224 wickets in 64 matches at an average of 22.32.
Given the mass exodus of players to the UK in recent years and the retirement of many familiar faces along the way, Philander hopes he can help the development line locally by playing for Western Province.
‘There is also not much experience around the country and I’m looking at the greater picture. We were fortunate to learn from older guys when we started out whether they were in our squad or not.
‘So, there’s a massive role to play in helping the future generations with those extra learnings; they can tap into our knowledge and hopefully stay calmer for longer.
‘Hopefully I can help make sure they mature in the proper manner. Obviously I am still playing for trophies, but I want to encourage bowlers from other teams to speak to me so I can help South African cricket grow. My goal is ultimately to help the standard of cricket in this country by setting a good example. You want an atmosphere of enjoying what you do, but you also have a responsibility to perform,’ he added.