BAN vs PAK: Pakistan bowling consultant Vernon Philander set to return South Africa amid new COVID variant Omicron impacting flights

Pakistan’s bowling consultant Vernon Philander is set to cut short his stay with the Men in Green and return to South Africa early. Philander who is currently in Pakistan’s bubble squad will reportedly leave the bio bubble tomorrow, November 29 – Day 4 of ongoing Bangladesh vs Pakistan 1st Test in Chattogram – due to the shutdown of flight operations in South Africa because of the emergence of the new COVID 19 variant Omicron.

Vernon Philander was earlier set to leave for South Africa after the conclusion of the ongoing Test in Chattogram. However, he had to change his plan and will now leave the bubble in Chattogram tomorrow.

The emergence of the new COVID 19 variant Omicron has started impacting international flights as well cricket schedules in South Africa. Earlier, the Netherlands 3- match ODI series against Proteas was postponed midway after the first ODI. India’s tour of South Africa in December too is in jeopardy due to the new Covid variant there though the schedule hasn’t been changed.

Team India is scheduled to travel to South Africa for a complete tour, starting with the three-Test series from December 17. The three-match Test series will be followed by 3 ODIs and 4 T20Is.

Meanwhile, Shaheen Shah Afridi’s three crucial wickets have put Bangladesh on backfoot at the end of Day 3’s play in the 1st Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhary Stadium, Chattogram. The left-arm pacer dismissed the top three Bangladesh batters, Shadmam Islam, Saif Hassan, and Najmul Shanto to derail the hosts’ second innings start. At stumps, Bangladesh’s score read 39/4 with the hosts leading by 83 runs.