County news October 27, 2009

Somerset sign Compton from Middlesex

Cricinfo staff

Somerset have signed Middlesex batsman Nick Compton on a long-term contract after he had asked to be released from his contract at Lord's because he wanted a fresh challenge. Compton, who was his county's top run-scorer in the 2009 season, is also the grandson of England cricket and football international Denis Compton.

"I am very excited about joining Somerset, a county I have always had great respect for," Nick told "I would like to thank them for sharing their vision and it was that vision that made my decision an easy one. I look forward to being part of the reason we achieve our goals at Somerset next year at beyond."

Brian Rose, the director of cricket at Somerset, admitted there was a need to strengthen their batting, after former captain Justin Langer confirmed he would not be returning to the county next season.

"Nick is a player we view as having the ability to bat in our top three and be with us for many years," Rose said. "In 2006, Nick had an excellent season, scoring six hundreds in Division One of the County Championship, and he went on the England A tour so we think he can be a great asset to our batting line-up.

"This summer he had a very strong season, particularly in one-day cricket, and he was also solid in the Championship. He will join our crop of talented young players such as Jos Buttler and Chris Jones. He has mainly opened in his career, but he could bat at three or Arul Suppiah could drop down. That is an issue for our new captain Marcus Trescothick, who rates Nick highly."

In fact, Rose said that while the team was in India for the Champions League Twenty20, he became aware of Nick's possible departure from Middlesex. "We acted quickly to secure his signature as we have high regard for his ability," Rose said. "Marcus Trescothick and I share the opinion that Nick can improve rapidly in the Somerset environment and go on to higher honours."

Trescothick was delighted with the signing of Compton. "He is a good player in four-day and one-day cricket," Trescothick said. "After a hugely promising start to his career, he encountered the problems a lot of batsmen, including myself, have gone through as bowlers start to work you out. But he seems to have come through that period now and I believe he will be a big asset."

Compton was born in South Africa, but is England qualified. He made his one-day debut for Middlesex in 2001 and played his maiden first-class match three years later. He also represented England Under-19 and won the Denis Compton Award as Middlesex's most promising young player in 2001, 2002 and 2006.

Somerset finished third in the Division One points table for 2009, and most recently made it to the second phase of the Champions League in India.