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Vernon Philander to retire from international cricket following England Test series
Philander Calls Time

Vernon Philander to retire from international cricket following England Test series

Vernon Philander has announced his intentions to bow out of international cricket after the four-Test series against England commencing on December 26.

The 60-Test veteran has picked 216 wickets in the longest format at an exceptional average of 22.16 and has been a vital cog in the South African line-up since his Test debut in 2011.

Philander, 34, is ranked seventh in the all-time list for South Africa's leading wicket-takers in Test cricket but his career has lately been beset by unfortunate bouts of injuries.

He represented the Proteas most recently during the Test series in India where his patient batting vigils at the crease garnered more attention than his bowling, generally regarded as his stronger suit.

Philander could not get a longer run in the white-ball formats, managing to play only 30 ODIs and seven T20Is for the national side.

"I want to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with the opportunity to represent my country for the last 12 years. It has been an honour and privilege to have played alongside the very best in the game," his statement read.

"Thank you must also go to CSA, the Cape Cobras, all the coaches, management, captains and teammates and the very special fans from all over the world for your love and support."

Philander's nibbling lines and prodigious seam movement made him a troublesome bowler to face.

While never boasting the express pace possessed by his compatriots Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, Philander's ability to swing the red cherry helped him achieve numerous feats across his illustrious career.

He immediately made a mark after claiming eight wickets in his first appearance in Test cricket, wreaking havoc on the Australian side at Newlands.

His incessant rise in world cricket thereon saw him become the joint second-fastest to 50 Test wickets allowing him to earn the South Africa Cricketer of the Year award in 2012.

He briefly occupied the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers and often dominated the all-rounders charts owing to his decent batting skills.

He averages over 24 with the bat with as many as eight half-centuries under his belt.

"I would like to say a special thanks to my wife, family and friends for your loyalty and support on this journey which has obviously had its ups and downs. And to my number one fan since day one – Mom, thank you so much," Philander added.

Graeme Smith, who captained the right-arm paceman in the initial part of his career, also paid tribute to Philander's services to South Africa cricket.

The CSA Director of Cricket hoped Philander's swansong would result in a victory for the home side.

“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," Smith said.

"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."