English county club Somerset have confirmed that the retiring South Africa pacer Vernon Philander will join them for the 2020 season. Philander, who announced he will retire from international cricket after the ongoing England series at home, will join as a Kolpak player.

He has earlier played for Somerset in 2012 when in five matches he took 23 wickets at 21.43.

“I’m really pleased to have agreed personal terms with Somerset,” Philander said. “It’s a great Club and I really enjoyed my time there a few years ago. I know that they won the 50-over cup last year and came close in the Championship and hopefully I’ll be able to help them to another successful year in 2020. Right now, I am 100% focused on the series against England and then my focus will turn to my next chapter.”

In statement on their official website, Somerset said, “It has been widely reported over the last few days that the South African would be joining the County, but the official paperwork required to complete the deal is being finalised with the ECB, with the Club working towards the full procedure being completed successfully in the New Year.”

Somerset’s director of cricket Andy Hurry said: “Vernon is undoubtedly a genuinely world-class performer and we are delighted to have agreed terms with such a talented player. When the possibility of signing him presented itself, and considering the challenges that we feel lie ahead of us with regards to achieving our aspirations, we felt that it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“To put it simply, he is one of the very best bowlers in the game and he would add quality to any team in the world. His experience and knowledge of the game will also be of huge benefit to our bowling group, especially the young players looking to break in to the first XI.”

Philander is the latest South African to sign a Kolpak deal with an English county club this year after Hashim Amla and Duanne Olivier.