DateLine: 21st December 2005
Rishton have signed 20 year-old South African all rounder Vernon Philander as their new professional. Philander replaces Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena who informed Rishton last month that he would not be returning in 2006.
Philander is a right handed middle order batsman and right arm fast medium paced bowler who plays for Cape Cobras alongside former Rishton professional Paul Adams, Herschelle Gibbs, ex East Lancs paid man Con De Lange and former Ramsbottom professional Ian Harvey.
The youngster, who bats at number seven for his side, has an impressive record with 589 runs at 34.6 and 41 wickets at 19.6 in a dozen First-class matches since his debut in 2003-04. He has also played three Under 19 Tests for his country and was recommended to Rishton by former East Lancs and Nelson professional Alan Dawson.
Philander will be the club's eighth South African professional following in the footsteps of players such as Paul Adams, Allan Donald, Steve Elworthy, Corrie Jordaan, Merryck Pringle, Mike Van Vuuren and the club's first overseas professional S.A. Vogler back in 1919.
Rishton's signing leaves just Haslingden, Nelson and Ramsbottom to announce signings with champions Lowerhouse still waiting to hear if Andrew McDonald will be back in 2006.