County News - Somerset December 6, 2004

Smith and Morkel given all-clear

Cricinfo staff

Graeme Smith will lead Somerset in 2005 © Getty Images

The United Cricket Board of South Africa has given the all-clear for Graeme Smith, their captain, to play for Somerset in 2005. Albie Morkel, another South African, has also been given approval and will be their second overseas player next summer.

Smith, 23, last month agreed a one-year deal with Somerset, but has had to wait for the move to be sanctioned by his country's board. Smith is expected to join Somerset in May, after South Africa's tour of West Indies. He will take over from Mike Burns as Somerset captain on his arrival. Morkel, an allrounder who bowls right-arm fast-medium but bats left-handed, has been touted as a bright prospect by Ray Jennings, his national coach.

"The cricketing experts in the club identified the captaincy as an area that needed attention," Peter Anderson, Somerset's chief executive, told the The Daily Telegraph. "We chose to go down the route of recruiting a proven international captain. We [had] tried to sign Stephen Fleming before he opted to join Nottinghamshire, but we are delighted that Graeme has now been given permission to join us."