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Somerset's Chris Gayle confident of another big innings at the County Ground

Big-hitter Chris Gayle says the size of the County Ground works in his favour. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Somerset cricket fans will be hoping for another big innings from Chris Gayle tonight, when they take on Hampshire in the T20 Blast.

The West Indian batsman has already hit 243 runs in his first two matches, including 151 not out last Sunday against Kent. He says the size of the County Ground helps.

When you have a good wicket and these decent-sized boundaries the ball will tend to fly - over the rope and outside of the ground as well.

– Chris Gayle, Somerset CCC

WATCH: Man swims to victory for Chris Gayle ball

Disappointment for Somerset Cricket this weekend but one fan swam to victory, rescuing a ball that Chris Gayle hit into the River Tone - even getting it signed by the big-hitting batsman afterwards.

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The West Indies batsman hit an unbeaten 151 on Sunday but could not prevent a Somerset loss. Credit: Somerset County Cricket Club

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Somerset Cricket sign West Indies batsman Chris Gayle

Somerset County Cricket Club have signed West Indies player Chris Gayle for the Natwest T20 Blast season.

Chris Gayle has signed as an international for Somerset's T20 squad Credit: Somerset County Cricket Club

The 35-year-old batsman can boast 13 centuries and 45 half centuries in T20 cricket as well as a test cricket score of 333 - his second triple century -in 2010.

Left-handed Gayle also made One-Day World Cup history when he reached a double century in the West Indies win over Zimbabwe.

I’m excited about joining Somerset for the NatWest T20 Blast this year. Many of the Club’s Members and supporters will know that I came close to playing for the County in 2012 and I have always felt that, if I was able to, I wanted to honour that commitment to Somerset. I’m looking forward to coming to Taunton and scoring some runs.

– Chris Gayle

Some of Gayle's stats:

  • Played in 45 T20 Internationals, scoring 1406 runs at an average of 35.15 with a highest score of 117.
  • He scored 13 centuries and 45 half centuries.
  • Played in an additional 195 T20 matches, amassing 6975 runs at an average 42.01 with a top score of 175.
  • He scored 1 century and 13 half centuries.
  • In Test cricket he has scored 7214 runs in 103 matches at an average of 42.18.
  • His highest Test score came in 2010 when he made 333 against Sri Lanka in Galle. This was his second triple century and surpassed his previous best of 317 against South Africa in 2005.
  • In 268 One Day Internationals he has scored 9160 runs at an average of 37.23.

Somerset Cricket Club launch their 2015 season

Somerset Cricket Club captain Marcus Trescothick, Head Coach Matt Maynard, Chairman Andy Nash and One Day and T20 captain Alfonso Thomas have launched the County's season today ahead of the club's photo shoot this morning.

Somerset Cricket squad for the 2015 season in the club's one day kit Credit: ITV News

Somerset County Cricket Club chairman Andy Nash told media in Taunton this morning the County would never merge with Gloucestershire, or any other place, in T20 cricket or any possible future English Premier League.

After England's failure in the recent World Cup the ECB is examining all options to improve England's future success in the one day game.

But Andy Nash says Somerset can stand on its own two feet and produce great local players to compete in one day cricket without becoming a franchise branded with the name of a company.

Somerset Cricket launch their season Credit: ITV News

Matt Maynard takes up his post at Somerset Cricket Club

Matt Maynard is Somerset's new Director of Cricket Credit: ITV News

Somerset's newly appointed Director of Cricket, Matt Maynard, started his new post at the County Ground today.

He's been charged with returning the club to the top of the game and delivering trophy success - and he says he can achieve it.

As a player, Maynard delivered the goods, He captained Glamorgan - the club he served for twenty years - to their very first Championship title in 1997, ironically enough by defeating Somerset at Taunton on the last day of the season.

No one has ever managed to lead Somerset to the game's top prize in 132 years but Maynard can't wait to get started.

He says: "It hasn't really fulfilled its potential over the last couple of years and you want to try and create an environment to allow the players to fulfil that, and hopefully I can bring that to them."

Tom Maynard was killed by a train in London two years ago Credit: ITV News

Maynard admitts that the death of his son, Tom, two years ago left him questioning his future within the game. The 23 year old cricketer was struck by a train in London.

"It was last winter really that I thought I'd lost the will to coach if I'm honest, and then working with the under 19's last winter in preparation for the World Cup - I loved it and I got that real buzz back again, you know I thought this feeling had gone and there is was, it was back again."

Somerset now hope he can lead them back out of the gloom and propel the club to new heights.

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Petersen will return to Somerset in 2014

Alviro Petersen will play for Somerset next year. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Somerset County Cricket Club have confirmed South African Test batsman Alviro Petersen will be returning to the Club as their overseas player for the 2014 season.

During his spell with the County in 2013 the top order batter, who has played in 26 Test matches, appeared in six Championship games in which he scored 562 runs at an average of 46.83, including a century on his debut at the Oval.

Somerset Cricket Captain cycles for charity

Somerset Cricket Captain cycles for charity Credit: ITV News West Country

A group of cricketers, including Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick and recently-departed wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, are involved in a charity bike ride across the country.

The ride started at Durham's Riverside ground and will finish at Lord's on Tuesday. The cricketers will cover more than 400 miles and are raising money for the Tom Maynard Trust and the Professional Cricketers' Association Benevolent Fund.

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