Legal action brought against Cricket South Africa (CSA) by former player Vernon Philander


Former South African all-around bowler Vernon Philander has taken legal action against Cricket South Africa (CSA) over breach of contract.

Philander played 64 Tests for South Africa, picked 224 wickets and scored 1779 runs. Also, he played 30 One Day Internationals and 7 T20Is and picked 41 and 4 wickets respectively. In December 2019 Philander announced that the Test series against England would be his final international series before his retirement and in January 2020 he played his final Test against England at Wanderers.

Vernon Philander [Image-Getty]

Meanwhile, Philander’s complaints with Cricket South Africa relate to contract disputes during the latter half of his career.

Vernon Philander’s contract was upgraded as he was available for selection for South Africa around the time several players were leaving the national team to take up Kolpak contracts in England.

“It was during the 2018 Sri Lanka tour when Cricket SA were very concerned about players leaving the national team and accepting Kolpak contracts in England. We had just lost a host of bowlers like Kyle (Abbott) , Marchant (de Lange), Parny (Wayne Parnell) in favor of Kolpak and Morne Morkel also retired to join Surrey ASC feared losing more and they knew I had plenty of offers from several English counties Philander told IOL Sport exclusively.

“It was at this point that Corrie van Zyl (former Acting CSA Cricket Director and Head of Pathways and Development) flew to Colombo to discuss my future with the Proteas. First, my agent, Arthur Turner should have been present at these meetings, but he obviously was not because we were in Sri Lanka.

“It was during these meetings that there was talk of my contract being upgraded if I remained eligible for Proteas. After the meetings, I immediately called Arthur and told him that I was happy with the proposal and that I would continue to play for the Proteas under the new agreements.

However, Philander revealed that he only received the new contract fee for one season.

“I was paid the new amount for next season but not the following year. I was told that because I didn’t play franchise cricket they couldn’t pay me what had been agreed before “It doesn’t affect my domestic contract. They came up with their ‘ranking system’ which made no sense as I had actually moved up the ICC test rankings.”

Vernon Philander has signed a Kolpak deal with the English county of Somerset after his retirement.

I spoke to SACA about what happened to me – Vernon Philander

Cricket South Africa (CSA).  Photo-Twitter
Cricket South Africa (CSA). Photo-Twitter

The former Proteas pacemaker has now approached the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) for help in the matter.

I spoke to SACA about what happened to me as they are the players’ workers’ union, but their message was that it’s between me and CSA,” Philander said.

Meanwhile, Saca chief executive Andrew Breetzke has opened up on the Vernon Philander case and explained his views on the whole matter.

“During the negotiation of the 2018 memorandum of understanding agreement, we introduced a number of measures to ensure that we were able to retain our best players in the face of other playing opportunities around the world” , Breetzke said.

“During the negotiation of the 2018 memorandum of understanding agreement, we introduced several measures to ensure that we were able to retain our best players in the face of other playing opportunities around the world,” said Breetzke.

“Key to this was the introduction of ‘red ball’ payments linked to ICC events – this was to compensate Proteas players who were not selected for financially lucrative ICC events.

“Vernon benefited from this ‘red ball’ payment in 2019 (ICC World Cup). Saca and CSA have also agreed to work towards the creation of a retention fund – to retain players in the system and reward them for their years of service Saca has set aside R10 million for this initiative.

“Unfortunately, the initiative never materialized, mainly due to the financial difficulties of the ASC and the turmoil of the ASC in 2019, when the people working on the initiative were suspended and terminated. In the Since Vernon is in dispute over the issue of its contract negotiation with the CSA, Saca was not a party to this negotiation and therefore cannot comment.

“CSA will not comment publicly on the status of the negotiations until both (legal) parties complete the current set(s) of commitments”, but CSA “views all of our current and former players as key stakeholders and the true ambassadors of the game,” said Thami Mthembu, Media Manager at CSA.

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