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.
Marcus Trescothick has signed a new contract with Somerset meaning he will stay at the club for another year.
The club captain put pen to paper on the deal which will see him retain his role for at least the next 12 months.
Players Max Waller, Jack Leach and Josh Davey have all also signed for another two years.
Somerset have beaten Hampshire by eight wickets in their T20 Blast match in Taunton tonight.
The club's new superstar Chris Gayle helped them to victory - scoring 85 off 49 balls. That takes his run tally to 328 after just three games with the West Country side.
Somerset and England cricketer Craig Kieswetter is retiring from professional sport due to the serious eye injury he suffered last summer.
The 27-year-old wicketkeeper and batsman fought to recover after a ball went through his helmet grille while batting in July, causing serious damage to his eye socket and impairing his vision.
He returned to cricket after surgery, but realised his vision was still problematic. He has now made the decision to retire - but says he finishes his career with no regrets.
Today Somerset Cricket said he had made an "immense" contribution to both the club and the national team, and described him as "gifted" and "popular".
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.
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.