Somerset have cancelled the contract of South Africa seam bowler Vernon Philander by mutual agreement. The 34-year-old was due to join the county for the summer on a Kolpak deal, which meant he would not count as an overseas player.
However, no games have yet been played because of the coronavirus pandemic. “Given the current uncertainty the cancellation of his contract was a prudent and sensible decision,” said director of cricket Andy Hurry. “I would like to thank Vernon and his management team for their understanding of the current situation and we hope one day to see Vernon back wearing Somerset colours.” Several counties have cancelled agreements with players signed for the 2020 season because of the uncertainty over what, if any, cricket will be played this summer. Last week, England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison confirmed the game could lose as much as £380m if no play is possible at all. Philander announced his retirement from international cricket following last winter’s series against England. He played 64 Tests, 30 one-dayers and seven T20 internationals for South Africa.