SOMERSET County Cricket Club has today announced the cancellation of Vernon Philander's contract by mutual consent.

South African all-rounder Philander was due to join the club at the start of April, but the coronavirus pandemic has led to "both parties reluctantly agreeing to cancel the contract".

The 34-year-old had agreed a two-year Kolpak deal with Somerset - confirmed in January of this year - after retiring from international cricket.

Philander previously represented the club in 2012 - claiming 23 wickets in five matches.

Somerset's statement says: "The impact of the global coronavirus outbreak and postponement of cricket until at least July 1 have resulted in both parties reluctantly agreeing to cancel the contract with immediate effect."

Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry commented: “These are clearly very uncertain and challenging times for all counties with no cricket until at least July 1, and the likelihood of a condensed and truncated season.

“It was such an exciting prospect to visualise Vernon returning to the Cooper Associates County Ground, but given the current uncertainty the cancellation of his contract was a prudent and sensible decision.

“I would like to thank Vernon and his management team for their understanding of the current situation and we hope one day to see Vernon back wearing Somerset colours.”