South Africa paceman Philander to retire after England series

Johannesburg (AFP) –


South Africa seamer Vernon Philander announced on Monday the upcoming Test series against England will bring down the curtain on his international career.

Philander made his Proteas debut in a one-day-international in 2007 but came to worldwide prominence four years later in Cape Town when he marked his Test debut by taking five wickets for 15 runs in seven overs as Australia were bowled out for just 47 in their second innings. He was named player of the match in a fixture South Africa won by eight wickets.

The 34-year-old has played 60 Tests, taking 216 wickets at an impressively low average of 22.16. He has also appeared in 30 ODIs and seven T20 internationals.

The four-Test series against England starts on December 26 at Centurion. The final Test in Johannesburg begins on January 24.

"I feel that it is the appropriate time to conclude what has been an amazing journey," Philander said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA).

"My entire focus and energy at this time is to help the Proteas beat England which I am really looking forward to."

Graeme Smith, Philander's former Test captain who is CSA's interim director of cricket, praised Philander's cricket and his character.

"One of the many things that have stood out for me with Vern is his character, his determination and the way that he has always been up for a fight and a challenge has shown the heart of the man," Smith said.

"I hope he can finish his final series for South Africa with the same character and flair that has become synonymous with him."