Somerset County Cricket Club have signed West Indies player Chris Gayle for the Natwest T20 Blast season.
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.
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 club captain Marcus Trescothick told us about his decision to hand over one day captaincy duties to Alfonso Thomas this season as he remains skipper of the County Championship side.
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 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'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."
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.
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.
North Devon twins Craig and Jamie Overton have signed extensions to their contracts with Somerset County Cricket Club for a further three seasons.
The 19 year olds graduated through the Somerset Academy and made their County debuts in 2012.
Since then they have both gone on to play for the England Lions while Jamie was a member of the England One Day squad for the series against Australia during this summer.
Somerset’s Director of Cricket Dave Nosworthy said: “As a Club we are extremely pleased to have secured these two young diamonds. Both Craig and Jamie are very highly rated nationally and as west-country lads we are excited to be able help them develop and have them performing on the field for us.
Somerset cricket duo Jos Buttler and Jamie Overton are on England Lions duty against Bangladesh A this week.
The three-match series starts today at Bristol's County Ground before moving to Taunton on Thursday.
Somerset have moved their 40-over match against Yorkshire from Bath to Taunton due to concerns over the pitch at The Recreation Ground.
The match in the YB40 competition was due to be played in Bath on August 15 but after consulting with the ECB, Somerset decided to move it to the County Ground.
However, the county insist they remain committed to playing one-day games at the Rec in the future once the pitch has been improved.
Guy Lavender, Somerset’s CEO said:
“This is very disappointing for everyone concerned and we apologise for the inconvenience that this change of venue will inevitably cause. Over the last few weeks we have undertaken a detailed pitch survey and inspection by both our Head Groundsman and the ECB’s specialist pitch consultant.
Their conclusions were unequivocal, identifying significant risks that the pitch would not be capable of hosting this important penultimate round fixture."
Those who have purchased tickets for the match will be contacted by post and given new ticketing options.