Vernon Philander outlines decision to join Pakistan

File image: Vernon Philander.File image: Vernon Philander.

Former Proteas all-rounder Vernon Philander has described this week’s appointment as Pakistan’s bowling coach for the 2021 T20 World Cup as “a huge opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.”

Whether the appointment extends beyond the 2021 T20 World Cup – and Philander’s time with Western Province in South African domestic cricket is jeopardised – remains in the balance.

This year’s T20 World Cup coincides with Cricket South Africa’s new T20 Knockout tournament and the start of the domestic first-class season.

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Philander could follow Prince

Head coach Ashwell Prince accepted a part-time role with Bangladesh while employed at Western Province. The Bangladesh role has since been made permanent and Prince has resigned as Western Province head coach.

What Philander said

“[New Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive officer] Ramiz Raja obviously called me up and asked if I was interested in joining the Pakistan team,” Philander told IOL.

“It is a huge opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. It’s also really exciting to work with a group of skillful youngsters.

“It’s international cricket. There is always pressure, no matter which team you are a part of. I would like to think that I can add value in terms of bringing some form of consistency to this young attack.

“They are an exciting group and they also want to head in a direction where they play an attacking brand of cricket which is exciting to be a part of.”

Fast bowlers Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Hasnain have been included in Pakistan’s squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

“Hasnain is a really talented young bowler, and of course, there’s the big guy Shaheen. I saw quite a bit of them during the recent series against South Africa and I am really excited to be working with them,” added Philander.

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