Kartik moves to Somerset
Somerset have signed Murali Kartik, the India left-arm spinner, as their overseas player for next season following the retirement of Justin Langer.
Kartik is currently at Middlesex, but has opted for a move to what will be his third county having also played for Lancashire.
"It's a new challenge for a player like me who has been playing first-class cricket in England for the last five seasons," Kartik told the Somerset website. "I know it is not an Old Trafford or Lord's wicket because I've played here before and it is a different challenge to me. As an international spinner when you have been playing for a long time you like to challenge yourself on wickets like that.
"Somerset have been vying for honours for the last two years [and] I think I probably add a new dimension to their attack. I love the challenge of playing county cricket and coming out and playing on different sorts of wickets."
Kartik will have his work cut out on the flat Taunton surfaces, but his recruitment will add depth to Somerset's bowling attack. Their spin options have been in the hands of Omari Banks, Arul Suppiah and young legspinner Max Waller and they have struggled to consistently trouble batsmen.
"The key for me has been looking at the way our cricket has gone over the last two to three years," Brian Rose, the director of cricket, said. "We have come up from the second division into the first and been very competitive but in terms of winning the Championship we need to have really good all-round bowlers.
"Particularly bowling at Taunton you must have variety and several times over the last couple of years we have reached the end game in two and a half days and spent the rest of the time trying to bowl sides out purely with seam."