South Africa allrounder Vernon Philander will retire from all forms of the game after the Proteas’ home series against England in January 2020, announced Cricket South Africa (CSA) in their official social media handles on Monday.

“Proteas all-rounder Vernon Philander (@VDP_24), has called time on an exemplary international career with the announcement of his retirement from all forms of international cricket at the end of the Test series against England in January 2020,” read a tweet from CSA’s official twitter handle.

In an international career that has spanned more than 12 years, Philander played 97 matches across all three formats, taking a combined 261 wickets with 1784 runs scored.

He took an outstanding combined 8/78, including a famous spell of 5/15 in his Test debut vs Australia that had the visitors bowled out for 47 in their second innings at Newlands as South Africa cantered to victory by eight wickets.

He also took a record-breaking 51 wickets in his first seven Test matches which earned him the 2012 SA Cricketer of the Year accolade at that year’s Cricket South Africa annual awards gala along with Test Cricketer and Fans Cricketer of the Year trophies.

“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,” said Philander while announcing his retirement.

“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,” he went on to add.

CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith also made a statement during the announcement.

“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