Fast bowler Vernon Philander surprised everyone when he decided to hang his international boots after representing South Africa for more than a decade. After playing his last Test in South Africa jersey in the recently-concluded Test series against England, Philander revealed that the instability within Cricket South Africa (CSA) played a big role in him retiring from the game.Also Read - Pakistan Minister Blames India For Sabotaging New Zealand Series, Claims Threatening Email Came From Unknown Device
The 34-year-old considered playing longer for the Proteas but the ever-growing ‘chaos’ in the administration in recent months prompted him to take a harsh call on his future. Philander is set to feature for Somerset County as a Kolpak player. He was in South Africa’s playing XI in the Johannesburg Test versus England. Also Read - MCC Amends Laws of Cricket, Promotes Gender-Neutral Term 'Batters' Instead of Batsmen
“As a player you get to the point where you’ve had enough,” Philander was quoted by Afrikaans weekly Rapport. CSA’s previous administration only looked after themselves; the players were the last people they worried about.” Also Read - Mithali Raj Retains Number One Spot as Amy Satterthwaite Returns to Top-5 in ICC ODI Rankings
“Too many things went wrong and I had to decide what was the best way forward for me. I am 34 and have a good career behind me, but I would have considered playing longer if it wasn’t for the chaos in our cricket administration,” he added.
Relationship between players and Cricket South Africa has taken several hits over the past decade.
Philander also opened up on the 2015 World Cup semifinal saga against New Zealand, where he replaced an in-form Kyle Abbott due to South Africa’s transformation policy. He believes that he should not have played that crucial match.
“It’s difficult for me to look back on that,” he said. “I blatantly and openly told the coach that the best player must play. He told me, ‘you’re the best man for the day, you play’. But they were clearly not open and honest with me and Kyle. There were things happening behind closed doors,” he said.
“When I go to Durban, I have a beer with Kyle. There are no hard feelings between us two. But the point is: Cricket SA must sort out their stuff. What happened was a knock to both of us.”
With the former captain, Graeme Smith appointed as acting director of cricket and former wicketkeeper Mark Boucher appointed as coach, Philander said that there is hope for a turnaround but it is too late for him to reconsider his decision.
“Hopefully we will see a turnaround in the administration and on the playing field,” he said. “We must put out heads together and decide which direction we are going in. Hopefully we can make the path for younger players better.”
Philander said that more former players need to be brought back to helping South African cricket but that can happen only if they are paid well.
“In successful teams like Australia, England and India, former players are involved but in South Africa, we lost our former players to other countries where they do coaching because the money is much better,” Philander said.
“We have to decide what we are willing to pay to keep former players in the country and ensure that our cricket goes forward again.”