Van der Merwe agrees Somerset overseas player terms

Somerset will seek a temporary overseas signing for the start of next season after recruting Roelof van der Merwe for the role from the start of June.

The South African will replace Murali Kartik as overseas player for the majority of the campaign, while Kieron Pollard will be heading back to Taunton to play in the Twenty20 Cup competition.

That leaves Somerset to find a foreign recruit to represent them between April 1 and May 31, a crucial period which could determine their chances of a first ever County Championship title.

Director of cricket Brian Rose says the search is on to find a suitable player, with finances boosted by success in reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.

South African all rounder van der Merwe only played in a handful of Friends Life t20 games for Somerset this summer, but impressed batting at number three, bowling slow left arm and fielding brilliantly.

The 26-year-old also played a big part in the Champions League campaign in India where in his seven games he scored 179 runs at an average of almost 30 and claimed six wickets at 27 runs apiece, with an economy rate of just over seven runs an over.

West Indian all-rounder Pollard has already had two seasons playing T20 cricket for Somerset, helping them to the final both times. Now supporters can look forward to seeing him and van der Merwe in the same side.

Meanwhile, Somerset batsman Arul Suppiah is celebrating being granted British Citizenship after a long qualification process stretching over many years.

Born in Malaysia, Suppiah first came to England to attend Millfield School more than 15 years ago, since when he has lived virtually all of his life in this country.

This summer he established a world Twenty20 record when, with his part-time left-arm spin, he managed to take six wickets for five runs in a game against Glamorgan at Cardiff.

Suppiah said: “I have lived in England longer than I have in Asia and I have always felt that I was English so to get British Citizenship means such a lot to me. It has been a long journey but I feel very proud now that it has happened.”

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