County news July 30, 2013

Compton exit would prompt Taunton transition

Nick Compton could be leaving Somerset after it emerged he was out of contract at the club and of interest to several other counties.

Compton may have been discarded by England but remains a prolific scorer at county level. While budgets across the county game are tight, it is anticipated that Surrey, Middlesex and Warwickshire would be among those keen to talk to 30-year-old Compton if contract negotiations with Somerset stall. The club remain keen to retain him, but Surrey's lure often proves persuasive.

A move back to London is understood to appeal for personal reasons but Compton's career has flourished since he joined Somerset ahead of the 2010 season. He has averaged 60.55 for the club in first-class cricket. He previously averaged 34.14 in his six seasons of first-class cricket with Middlesex.

Compton's departure could be part of a transition at the club. Gemaal Hussain, the 29-year-old seamer who was signed amid much competition and at great expense from Gloucestershire three years ago, has endured a modest stay and is unlikely to win a new deal.

Hussain, who claimed 67 first-class wickets at an average of 22.34 for Gloucestershire when armed with a Tiflex ball and on seam-friendly pitches in 2010, has taken only 42 first-class wickets in three seasons at Somerset at an average of 41.92.

Somerset may also seek to appoint a new captain, at least in one form of the game, in the coming months. While Marcus Trescothick has a job, be it in a coaching or ambassadorial role, for life at Somerset, the club are keen to ease the burden on his body after two decades of professional cricket and see a new captain in the job while Trescothick is still on-hand to provide on-field assistance as required. Craig Kieswetter is by far the most likely replacement.

That could have implications for Jos Buttler who is also out of contract. He remains strongly emotionally connected to the club that he and his family have supported all his life, his career development may be hindered if he is unable to keep wicket more often. Should he decide to leave, he has no shortage of willing employers among the other counties.

One man who will not be departing is Dave Nosworthy. The Somerset director of cricket has, perhaps due to unrealistic expectations, endured a tough start to his career at Taunton since replacing Brian Rose at the start of the year but will be given every chance to turn things around in 2014. The club have a gifted bunch of young players and have taken the view that, even if it takes a season or two of Division Two cricket, Nosworthy remains the man to take the team into the future.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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