Snell wins Champions League call-up for Somerset

Steve Snell has been named in Somerset’s 15-man squad for the Champions League tournament in India, starting next week.

The former Gloucestershire wicketkeeper has again been asked to stand in for Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler, who will both miss the two qualifying matches in Hyderabad on September 20 and 21 because of England Twenty20 duty.

George Dockrell is also unavailable for the qualifying games because of international duty with Ireland but, like Kieswetter and Buttler, he will be able to join the Somerset squad if they progress to the second phase of the Champions League.

Snell, Lewis Gregory and Max Waller would drop out from the original squad should the international players be needed.

Nick Compton, still recovering from a side injury, has been named in the squad who will fly to India on the evening of Sunday September 18. Somerset won’t arrive in Hyderabad until 24 hours later after a stop-off in Delhi.

Director of cricket Brian Rose said: “The fact that we are in the Clydesdale Bank 40 final at Lord’s on Saturday means our preparation for the Champions League will be minimal.

“We shall see how the players are on Tuesday morning after their long journey before making practice plans and, of course, our first game is that evening, starting at 8pm Hyderabad time.”

On the selection of Snell to keep wicket, Rose added: “I think we might have been made to look ridiculous had we not taken a specialist keeper.

“Alex Barrow could have done it at a pinch, but it wouldn’t have been fair on him. Steve Snell did a good job for us in the CB40 game with Essex and on the opening day of the County Championship game with Hampshire so he was the obvious choice.”

Fast bowler Gemaal Hussain is still in the process of obtaining a visa to play in India. If it does not come through in time, Chris Jones will go in his place.

Roelof van der Merwe will rejoin Somerset for the tournament as their second overseas player. The opening game is against Auckland Aces on Tuesday September 20, followed by a clash with Kolkata Knight Riders the following day.
 
Somerset squad: A Barrow, N Compton, A Dibble, J Hildreth, G Hussain, M Kartik, S Kirby, C Meschede, A Suppiah, A Thomas (capt), P Trego. R van der Merwe, S Snell (wkt), L Gregory, M Waller.

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