The cricketing fraternity was shocked as South African Test specialist Vernon Philander called it quits before the series against England. Philander opened up about this abrupt end to his international career recently and called out the chaos within the Cricket South Africa (CSA) regime as the primary cause for his retirement.
Also, Philander spilled the beans regarding the controversial selections during the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup in 2015. In a no-holds-barred interview with Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, Philander accused of racism determining team selections during the crunch game five years back.
Philander suggested that indecisions within CSA forced him to sign a Kolpak deal with Somerset and quit the national team during a turbulent time in their rich cricketing history.
“As a player, you get to the point where you’ve had enough. CSA’s former management only started looking after themselves, the players were the last ones they worried about. Too many things went wrong in the last while, I had to decide what is the best road ahead for me. Then I decided to retire,” Vernon commented.
“I am 35 now, with a decent career behind me, but I would have considered playing longer if not for the chaos in our cricket administration,” claimed the man with 224 Test wickets to his name.
However, it is not as bleak as it looks for South Africa as they look to amend the situation within the board under the directorship of their former skipper Graeme Smith. Also, the likes of Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn have taken up a mentorship role for the young Proteas squad.
“There’s more credibility back now at CSA. Hopefully, we’ll see a turnaround in fortunes at the administrative level and on the playing field,” lamented the Cape Town all-rounder.
While looking back at the 2015 World Cup, Philander alleged that things were going on behind closed doors. Despite being injured, Philander, to his surprise, was selected in the eleven against New Zealand in the semi-finals at Auckland, in place of in-form Kyle Abbott.
The South African team management desired an unchanged lineup in the semi-finals, but went ahead with a fit-again Philander instead of Abbott, to fulfill the target of four colored players in the lineup.
“I blatantly and openly told the coach (Russell Domingo) that the best player should play. He told me: ‘You are the best player for the day, you’re playing. But they were clearly not open and honest with me and Kyle. There were definitely things going on behind closed doors,” revealed the 35-year old.
Furthermore, Philander disclosed that his friendship with Abbott was affected due to the selection, which might have led to the heart-breaking Protean defeat in the high-octane match. “Both of us took a bit of a knock because of what happened there,” concluded the South African cricketer, with 101 international caps across all formats.
Later on, Abbott signed a Kolpak deal midway through the Sri Lankan series back in 2017. A majority of the elite cricketers in South Africa have found their way to England with the Kolpak deal. This is seen as the primary reason for the Rainbow Nation struggling in international cricket presently.