Vernon Philander, Pakistan’s interim bowling consultant, has left for South Africa during the ongoing Test match between Pakistan and Bangladesh. Philander has decided to return home following the outbreak of the COVID-19 ‘Omicron’ variant in South Africa and other parts of the world.
The new COVID-19 variant has already had an impact on the South African cricket schedule, as the final two ODIs between South Africa and the Netherlands were cancelled, as were the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. Additional series scheduled to be played in South Africa have also been jeopardised.
The ‘Omicron’ variant has also caused a number of countries around the world to cancel flights to and from Southern African countries
Philander, who was scheduled to return to South Africa following the conclusion of the first Test match between Pakistan and Bangladesh, has decided to leave Pakistan early and return home before further travel restrictions are imposed around the world.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) initially hired the former South African seamer as an interim bowling consultant for the recently concluded 2021 T20 World Cup. Philander’s PCB contract was extended for Pakistan’s tour of Bangladesh.