"A huge opportunity which I couldn't turn down" - Vernon Philander thrilled to work with Pakistan's young guns

Vernon Philander. (Image Credits: Getty)
Vernon Philander. (Image Credits: Getty)

Former South African seamer Vernon Philander is looking forward to starting his coaching stint with Pakistan. Newly-elected PCB chairman Ramiz Raja recently announced Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden's appointments as coaching consultants for the T20 World Cup.

Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden will join the coaching staff only for the upcoming showpiece event. There was some uncertainty surrounding the Pakistan cricket team after Misbah-Ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned from their coaching roles.

Philander, who has no formal coaching experience, revealed he felt pumped after Ramiz Raja offered him the position. The 36-year old stated Pakistan has some promising young pacemen and is eager to help them prosper. Philander told IOL Sport:

"Ramiz obviously called me up and asked if I was interested in joining the Pakistan team. It is a huge opportunity, which I couldn't turn down. It's also really exciting to work with a group of skillful youngsters. Mohammad Hasnain is a really talented young bowler, and of course, there's the big guy Shaheen Shah Afridi. I saw quite a bit of them during the recent series against South Africa and I am really excited to be working with them."

Philander was one of the most successful new-ball bowlers for South Africa in Test cricket. He retired from internationals in 2020 after taking 224 Test wickets in 64 matches at 22.32 apiece. However, the veteran has played only seven T20Is and 123 T20 games, the last of which was in December of 2019.

There is always pressure, no matter which team you are a part of: Vernon Philander

England Tour to SA: South Africa Training Session
England Tour to SA: South Africa Training Session

Vernon Philander said he hopes to inject some discipline and consistency into Pakistan's inexperienced bowling attack. The former Proteas cricketer believes wanting to express themselves by playing freely is what makes Pakistan an exciting outfit. He said:

"It's international cricket. There is always pressure, no matter which team you are a part of. I would like to think that I can add value in terms of bringing some form of consistency to this young attack. They are an exciting group and they also want to head in a direction where they play an attacking brand of cricket which is exciting to be a part of."

Pakistan are currently preparing for the white-ball series against England and New Zealand at home. Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq will serve as their interim coaches of the team. Led by Babar Azam, the 2009 champions will open their World T20 campaign against India in Dubai on October 24.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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