Chris Gayle’s keen to join Somerset next year
Brian Rose has revealed how an apologetic Chris Gayle is keen to play for Somerset in Twenty20 cricket next summer, after having to renege on a contract to appear for the county in this year’s competition.
Rose, who will today sign an agreement to become an advisor to Somerset for the next year, said recruitment for next season’s Friends Life t20 remains some way off, with the current priority being tying up next season’s main overseas signing for the LV= County Championship.
But the departing director of cricket, who will oversee his final game in charge when Somerset take on relegated Worcestershire starting today, has understandably already cast an eye toward next summer’s Twenty20.
And he believes Gayle, who pulled out of a deal to play for Somerset this season after returning to the West Indies fold, is committed to playing at Taunton if the hectic international schedule permits.
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Rose also said the door remains open for Gayle’s fellow West Indian, Kieron Pollard, to return to Somerset.
“Recruiting for T20 is down the road at the moment – but, when the time comes, I think people such as Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard will want to play for us,” said Rose, who is expected to continue to play a key role in the development of Somerset’s young cricketers.
“What happened with Chris this year was well documented – but I think there is an open door. He wrote a very genuine, very nice letter to the club, apologising for the problems it caused, which I thought was a very good gesture.
“I think he would commit himself to Somerset in a heartbeat if he was available – and so would Kieron. We have reached two finals with Kieron in our T20 team, and we will see what happens next year.
“That may be some way in the future – but the point is that Somerset will continue to endeavour to get the very best possible overseas players for T20 and the County Championship.”
The shorter-term focus for Rose, who has agreed new contracts with George Dockrell and Craig Meschede, is to find next season’s County Championship overseas signing – and to beat Worcestershire at Taunton to secure runners-up spot in Division One.
“I’m hoping that the team perform as well as they did at Sussex and finish second in the Championship – that is the target now,” said Rose.
“What we did at Hove (Somerset chased 396 in the fourth innings to win) just shows the ability that we have in the side – and we have shown that from time to time, notably in chasing 400 in successive seasons to beat Yorkshire at Taunton.
“But what we have to do to win Championships is show that ability more consistently.
“You can bore people to death and win the Championship, but I’m not quite sure I would want to do that. We have tried to make sure that the people we sign have got a lot of ability and play attractive cricket, which I think we have achieved.
“And I think that will continue to happen over the next four or five years, with the young players we have coming up and the talent the senior players have. It’s an exciting time for Somerset cricket – and to finish second, after the summer we have had, would be a fine achievement.”
Nick Compton returns to the Somerset squad today after a back injury – and will hope to take his final chance to earn a place in England’s touring party that heads to India in November.
Saj Mahmood has had a scan on a leg muscle injury but was bowling yesterday without too many problems.
Somerset (from): @M Trescothick (capt), A Suppiah, N Compton, C Jones, J Hildreth, A Barrow, S Snell (wkt), P Trego, A Rehman, A Thomas, S Mahmood, S Kirby.