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Western Province confirm Hashim Amla will not return to play domestic cricket in South Africa

Vernon Philander, another of their players, may also be unavailable for some matches after he signed on to be Pakistan bowling coach

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
Hashim Amla retired from international cricket after the World Cup

Hashim Amla retired from international cricket in August 2019  •  Getty Images

Hashim Amla will not return to play domestic cricket in South Africa after negotiating an exit to his deal with Western Province. Amla, who retired from international cricket in August 2019 but remained active for Surrey, was due to turn out for Western Province in South Africa's revamped domestic structure which consists of 15 provincial teams. Amla was contracted to Western Province when the squad lists were finalised at the end of April but he has now opted out of the agreement.
"It's obviously hugely disappointing that Hashim will not be donning Western Province colours this season," Michael Canterbury, Western Province CEO. said in a statement. "He would have been a huge asset to the team on and off the field, especially working with the group of talented young batsmen we have at our disposal.
"I want to thank Hashim and his representatives for the open interaction over these past couple of weeks. We all know Hashim is one of our greatest ever players in South Africa and we would have loved nothing more than to see him representing Western Province but we fully understand his reasoning and wish him luck with whatever comes next for him and his family."
Amla's immediate plans are not known. He has previously worked as a batting mentor in the Pakistan Super League and the Mzansi Super League and also played in Abu Dhabi T10 league.
Western Province are also in the process of deciding on the future of Vernon Philander, another player who is contracted to them but has now also signed on to be Pakistan's bowling coach.
If Philander's role with Pakistan is only for the duration of the T20 World Cup, he will miss at least two first-class fixtures but could return for the bulk of the competition. It is understood that sources at Western Province were surprised at Philander taking a coaching role abroad and described the whole thing as "not ideal." ESPNcricinfo understands that Western Province are meeting with player representatives to resolve the situation.
The Cape Town-based provincial team are also without a permanent coach after Ashwell Prince left them to take on the job of Bangladesh batting coach. Faiek Davids, who was part of the South African squad that traveled to India on their return to international cricket in 1991, has taken over in interim capacity.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent