Vernon Philander will be available for Sussex   s first six County Championship matches and the group stage of the One-Day Cup tournament    Getty Images
Vernon Philander will be available for Sussex s first six County Championship matches and the group stage of the One-Day Cup tournament Getty Images

Londres: South African all-rounder Vernon Philander committed himself on Friday to playing the first half of the 2017 season for Sussex in a major coup for the County Championship second division outfit. The 31-year-old, who has taken 142 wickets in 37 Tests at an average of 22.21, will be available for Sussex s first six County Championship matches and the group stage of the One-Day Cup tournament. Philander, one of a select group of South African cricketers to take five wickets on his Test debut, has played county cricket in England on four previous occasions, for Middlesex in 2008, Somerset in 2012, Kent in 2013 and Nottinghamshire in 2015.

I’m really looking forward to getting to Hove and playing for Sussex for the first couple of months of the English season,” said Philander, who most recently played a leading role in the Proteas’ impressive 2-1 Test series win over Australia. “Although I haven’t come up against Sussex much in my time playing in England, I’ve always heard good things about the club and set-up. “Hopefully I can put in some good performances to help the team in both red [County Championship] and white ball [one day] cricket and pass on my experience to some of the younger players who I’ve heard such positive reports about,” added Philander, who decimated Australia’s top order in the second Test with figures of 5-21 in the first innings.

Mark Davis, Sussex head coach, called it a major boost. “I am thrilled to have Vernon joining us for the first two months of the season,” said Davis. “He is one of the leading bowlers in world cricket and to have him bowling in English conditions is a very exciting prospect from the club. His international experience with both bat and ball will be invaluable to our young players and we are looking forward to him joining us in April.”