Reports: Pakistan bowling consultant Vernon Philander to leave for South Africa amid travel restrictions due to new COVID-19 variant

Travel restrictions in South Africa are the major reason behind Philander’s premature exit.

Vernon Philander
Vernon Philander. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gaurav Tripathi

Jr. Statistician

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In what can be called a major development, Pakistan bowling consultant Vernon Philander is set to leave the national team midway through the ongoing Test against Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram. Travel restrictions in South Africa are the major reason behind Philander’s premature exit. For the unversed, a new variant of the COVID-19 rises, which has been named Omricon by the World Health Organization (WHO), has been detected in the rainbow nation.

With the cases being on a rise, the national government has implied strict restrictions on travel. As Philander doesn’t want to be stranded away from his home, he’ll leave the Pakistan team on Day four, which takes place on Monday (November 29), of the ongoing Test.

Vernon Philander to leave Pakistan team on November 29  

Meanwhile, veteran Bangladesh journalist Mohammad Islam carried out the major development. “Pakistan bowling consultant Vernon Philander will leave the squad on Monday due to the spread of COVID-19 and shutdown of flight operations for SA. Initially, Philander was planned to leave the squad after first Test. #BANvPAK,” tweeted the journalist on Sunday (November 28).

Meanwhile, the new variant has started impacting cricket operations in African countries. The three-match ODI series between South Africa and Netherlands was recently suspended midway due to concerns of the virus. In fact, the qualifying event for the 2022 Women’s T20 World Cup 2021, which was scheduled to be played in Zimbabwe, was also called off.

In fact, dark clouds are looming over the much-important India tour of South Africa which comprises three Tests, as many ODIs and four T20I matches. If conditions in the nation don’t get better in coming times, we might well see the fixtures getting postponed.

Coming back to the ongoing Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan, the game was perfectly hanging in balance at stumps on Day 3. After posting 330 in the first innings, Bangladesh restricted Pakistan for 286 to earn a handy 44-run lead in the first innings. However, the home team couldn’t make a commendable start in the third innings and lost wickets quickly.

At stumps on Day 3, the Bangla Tigers were 39/4, leading by 83 runs. It seems anyone’s game at the moment and it would be interesting to see how the remaining clash pans out.