Somerset have tentatively announced that they have secured the services of South African all-rounder Vernon Philander as their overseas player for the first two months of the 2012 season. Philander’s availability is dependent on him not being selected to play in the Indian Premier League.
The 26 year-old has enjoyed an outstanding start to his Test career since making his debut in Cape Town last month – during which he five for 17 to be named Cricket World Player of the Week - and has already taken three five-wicket hauls in three matches, leading Somerset director of cricket, Brian Rose, to say, “Watching Vernon bowl in Cape Town against Australia recently I was immediately impressed by his ability and character in an especially demanding debut on his home ground. His all-round ability will be a great asset in our side and I’m sure our supporters will be engaged by his infectious personality.”
Philander has regularly been at the top of the wicket-takers list for the past few seasons in South Africa’s first-class competition, the SuperSport Series, and has actually played county cricket before - for Devon in 2003.
His style of bowling should suit the early-season English pitches and he will be an asset for Somerset before he is replaced by compatriot Roelof van der Merwe at the beginning of June.
Other County News In Brief:
Northamptonshire have signed fast bowler Sam Sweeney on a two-year contract. The 21 year-old was on trial at Wantage Road last season and impressed with his performances for the county’s Second Eleven.
Worcestershire have confirmed that they are in talks with Saeed Ajmal about a possible return to New Road in 2012 as their second overseas player in the Friends Life t20.
Kent have extended the contract of veteran fast-bowler Simon Cook by an undisclosed amount – believed to be just one year – despite strong speculation that the 34 year-old may have been leaving Canterbury.
Chris Watts, who heads up the ECB’s anti-corruption unit that was established in June, has said that county cricket is at more risk from corruption than the international game. His full comments will be broadcast on a BBC radio 5 live special tonight at 1930 GMT.
Gloucestershire wicket-keeper and sometime opener Richard Coughtrie has signed a contract extension of undisclosed length with the club. The 23 year-old was a solid presence at the top of the Gladiators’ Championship batting-order last season, where he averaged 25.28 despite playing on some difficult Bristol pitches.
Sussex captain Michael Yardy has secured his future at the County Ground in Hove until at least the end of the 2014 season after signing a new two-year deal.
Warwickshire and England batsman Jonathan Trott has signed a new three-year deal with the county which will see him remain at Edgbaston until at least the end of the 2015 season.
© Cricket World 2011