Vernon Philander

South Africa
June 24, 1985 (36 years)
All Rounder
Birth Place
Batting Style
Right Handed
South Africa
Bowling Style
Right-arm fast medium

Vernon Philander is a retired South African cricketer. He was a bowling all-rounder who bowled right-arm medium-pace and batted right-handed. He was one of the finest bowlers of South Africa in the Test format predominantly, especially in their home conditions. He was born on 24 June 1985 in Bellville, South Africa. He was nicknamed “The Surgeon” for his ability to bowl precise line and lengths in Test matches. He started playing for South Africa in 2007 and retired recently, in early 2020.

ICC Rankings

Test ODI T20I

Team played

South Africa, Devon, Kent, Nottinghamshire, South Africa A, South Western Districts, Western Province, Middlesex, Cape Cobras, South Africa Under-19, Somerset, Sussex, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Jo’burg Giants, Cape Town Blitz, Durban Heat

Early Life

Vernon Philander caught everyone’s attention with his excellent performance in the domestic arena in the 2010-2011 season. He took 35 wickets at an average of 16.11 in the 2011 season. His performance of 3/30 and 59* in the final of the Emerging Players Tournament against New Zealand A was loudly applauded. Throughout his career, he has also played for English county teams like Middlesex, Kent, Sussex and Somerset in the List A format.

International Career


Vernon Philander first made his appearance for the South African team in 2007 against Ireland. He had bowling figures of 4/12 in his debut game, his best bowling figures in ODIs. He was dropped from the team in 2008 and later made a comeback in 2012. He was playing consistently from 2013 to 2015 and went on to represent South Africa in the 2015 ICC World Cup. His selection for the 2015 World Cup semifinal against New Zealand created a huge controversy in South African cricket. Overall, in 8 years, he played just 30 ODI matches, taking 41 wickets.


Philander made his T20I debut soon after his T20I debut in the 2007 ICC T20I World Cup.  He played just 7 T20I matches and took 4 wickets. He did not have a huge success in the T20I format. He has played for Jamaica Tallawahs, Cape Town Blitz and Durban Heat in the Mzansi Super League and Caribbean Premier League tournaments.


Philander was most successful in the Test format for South Africa. He made his debut against Australia in 2011 and won the Man of the Match award for his figures of 8/78. He then claimed 6 wickets in his second match and went on to win the Man of the Series award. He had a huge success in the Test arena and became the second-fastest bowler to take 50 Test wickets (7 matches). He has bowled a lot of memorable spells in the Test format and helped South Africa win a lot of matches. He has played 64 Test matches and claimed 224 wickets, scoring 1779 runs, including 8 fifties, with the bat. He registered 13 five-wicket hauls with his best figures of 6/21 in an innings and 10/102 in a match. He retired in January 2020 after playing his last Test against England in Johannesburg.

Overall Career

Philander has played 100+ matches in first-class, List A and T20 matches in his career. He has played 421 matches across three formats with 7570 runs and 801 wickets to his name. He has 580 wickets and 4941 runs in the first-class format in the 168 matches played. He has scored 3 centuries, 23 half-centuries and taken 26 five-wicket hauls in all formats.

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