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Cricket: Somerset to release three players

Adam Dibble, George Dockrell and James Regan will all be leaving the County Ground at the end of the season Credit: PA

Somerset County Cricket Club will be saying goodbye to three players at the end of the season - fast bowler Adam Dibble, left arm spinner George Dockrell and wicket-keeper James Regan.

It is always tough to release young players but ultimately we do have to make the types of judgments that are in their long term interests as well as the Club’s.

In the case of Adam, George and James, that task is made all the more difficult because they are outstanding young men and I am sure all of them will have a promising future in whatever direction life takes them.

– Director of Cricket, Matt Maynard

Somerset saved from relegation

In cricket, Somerset went into their final County Championship match at home against Warwickshire knowing that they needed seven points to guarantee their place in the First Division next season.

Today they have done just that - and in style. At one point the visitors lost five wickets for no runs.

What a way to avoid relegation!

Alfonso Thomas to depart Somerset at the end of the season

Alfonso Thomas to leave Somerset County Cricket Club Credit: PA: Nigel French

Somerset County Cricket Club has announced fast bowler Alfonso Thomas, who has taken over 550 wickets for the County will be leaving the club at the end of the 2015 season.

The 38 year old first joined Somerset prior to the start of the 2008 season and following a number of impressive performances for the Seconds early on, he made his First XI debut after which he became a regular member of the line up in all formats.

Alfonso has enjoyed many highlights in his career both for Somerset and indeed around the world.

His best season for Somerset was in 2010 during which he took in excess of 100 wickets and was presented with the ‘Player of the Year Award’ something he went on to win for the second time after the conclusion of the 2014 season.

He has led Somerset on numerous occasions in Marcus Trescothick’s absence, most memorably during Somerset’ remarkable run in the Champions League T20 in 2011 when they reached the semi-final stage.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my career at Somerset and extend huge thanks to Brian Rose who believed in me some years ago and asked me to join the Club. I wish my teammates and Club all the best for the future.

It’s been great fun but like all good things they eventually come to an end. I am intending to remain in cricket, either continuing to play or by making the transition into coaching – it was a great privilege to be asked by Gary Kirsten to work with his bowlers during the IPL in India this year that I really enjoyed.

I plan to take a few weeks over the off season to consider several alternative options before deciding exactly which path to take. I hope that at some point in the future I will get the opportunity to be involved in the Club in some capacity.

I've had fantastic support from the supporters over the years and would like them to know that it has always been greatly appreciated.

– Alfonso Thomas

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Somerset cricketing legend Brian Close has died

Brian Close is credited with turning around the fortunes of Somerset County. Credit: PA/PA Wire

Former Somerset and England captain Brian Close has died at the age of 84.

The cricketer is often credited with turning the County into a top class team in the 70s, helping to develop the talents of Viv Richards and Ian Botham.

Close also became the youngest player ever to win a Test cap for England when he made his debut against New Zealand in 1949 at just 18 years old.

Today Somerset County described him as "a fearless and highly respected leader" whose contribution to the club was "immense".

“Brian will be remembered with great affection by all those who were privileged to know him at Somerset. He will be greatly missed and we will never forget the part he has played in Somerset’s history.”

– Somerset County Cricket
Credit: PA/PA Wire

Warming up for Women's Ashes

The England Ladies team leave a trail of kit bags as they warm up in Taunton Credit: ITV News West Country

The England Ladies Cricket Team are warming up at the County Ground in Somerset ready for the first match in their Ashes Series tomorrow, Tuesday 21 July.

While the men may have been defeated by Australia at the weekend, the women's side are hoping to make it three wins in a row.

For Vice Captain Heather Knight, Tuesday's match will be like playing at home.

I grew up playing for Somerset Academy and did a lot of training here as a youngster. I see it as my home ground in the West Country and it's always lovely to come back here. I absolutely love it.

Lots of family and friends are coming on Tuesday for my 50th cap so I'm really looking forward to it.

– HEATHER KNIGHT England Vice Captain

Geraint Jones steps down as Gloucestershire captain

Geraint Jones will retire from cricket at the end of the season Credit: Simon Cooper/PA

Gloucestershire Cricket captain Geraint Jones has announced his retirement from cricket today.

He's stepped down as Gloucestershire captain and will retire from the sport at the end of the 2015 season.

It’s been something I’ve been thinking about quite strongly in the last few weeks and I’ve come to the decision that this season will be my last as a cricket player.

But it’s on a positive note that I’ve made the decision. Yes the family side has been a big consideration but ultimately it’s about what’s best for Gloucestershire Cricket and this squad.

Over the last few weeks I felt there were guys who needed an opportunity and my place in the team was potentially that opportunity.

I still want to play a big role in helping the team on and off the field but now is a chance for them to start to formulate the best way forward for this group of players and for Gloucestershire Cricket.

– Geraint Jones

Glos get ready to take on Somerset in T20 Blast

T20 top scorer Michael Klinger hopes to help Gloucestershire beat Somerset Credit: ITV News

In cricket, Gloucestershire will play in front of a sell-out crowd in this evening's T20 blast competition with rivals Somerset.

The home side are currently third in the table with 4 wins from 7 matches.

Australian Michael Klinger is the tournament's top scorer ahead of some more famous names that have been dominating the headlines.

"I certainly can't hit the ball as far as Chris Gayle but if they just trickle over the rope it's enough I suppose. Personally it's been a great tournament and I'm enjoying helping the team win as many games as possible. That's all I'm trying to do - get the team off to some good starts and help us win games".

– Michael Klinger, Gloucestershire CCC
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