Mzansi Super League

MSL: Philander embracing new Durban experience

2018-11-28 10:10
Vernon Philander (Gallo)
Vernon Philander (Gallo)

Cape Town - He has spent his entire professional career playing out of Newlands, but Proteas star Vernon Philander has been forced out of his comfort zone thanks to the Mzansi Super League (MSL)

A Capetonian through and through, he was born in Bellville, Philander now finds himself playing out of Kingsmead for the Durban Heat in Cricket South Africa's premier product that is trying its best to become a major player in the money-spinning world of T20 franchise cricket. 

Taking South Africa's best players and pitting them against each other in new scenarios has been one of the refreshing aspects of this tournament, and Philander is embracing that environment despite having just welcomed his first child into the world.

"It's wonderful to mix with different guys and cultures," Philander told Sport24 on Tuesday.

"It's been really good to get away from what we're accustomed to and to be put in this new space where we can learn off each other and try new things.

"Playing in Durban has been a big change and a new experience, but it is one that I am really enjoying. We have a great group of guys and a fantastic spirit in our squad."

Dolphins stalwarts David Miller, Hashim Amla and Keshav Maharaj are Philander's new team-mates in Durban, while Temba Bavuma is another Proteas star who has found a new home on the east coast for the month. 

"The national guys are all split up into different teams and that makes for exciting new competition and the Proteas guys are all excited by that," Philander added. 

"It's also nice when you have all the international guys available."

On that front, the Dolphins have the services of Afghanistan spin prodigy Rashid Khan from December 4 after the completion of the T10 League in the UAE. 

The Durban Heat haven't had the best start to the MSL, winning one and losing two of their opening three matches. 

Philander, though, has made a decent enough start.

He is averaging 42 with the bat while his tournament figures so far are 2/58 in 8 overs. 

Having only recently recovered from an ankle injury, 'Big Vern' is trying to get as much cricket under the belt as possible before the Pakistan tour to South Africa at the end of the year where in addition to continuing his dominance on the Test arena, he will be hoping to break back into the ODI side in the hope of securing a place in the World Cup squad for next year. 

"The body is feeling good again," he said.

"This is an exciting tournament and we all want it to be good for cricket in the country."

The Durban Heat are next in action on Wednesday night when they host the Paarl Rocks at Kingsmead.

Play starts at 19:00.

Read more on:    durban heat  |  msl  |  vernon philander  |  durban  |  cricket

 

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