English domestic news September 22, 2009

Kartik joins Somerset for 2010

Cricinfo staff

Murali Kartik, the Indian left-arm spinner, has signed up with Somerset as their overseas player for the 2010 season. Currently playing for Middlesex, whom he joined them 2007, Kartik has signed a one-year contract with Somerset.

Kartik, 33, said it was a fantastic opportunity for him. "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."

Brian Rose, Somerset's director of cricket, said Kartik's inclusion would bolster their bid to win the Championship. "The key for me has been looking at the way our cricket has gone over the last two to three years," he 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.

"We have got two bowlers who can potentially get 50 wickets each and with Kartik we have got another who can get 50-60 plus, and to win championships you have to have the depth of bowling. 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."

Kartik has picked up 475 first-class wickets at 26.16, including 33 this season. He also has 24 wickets at 34.16 in eight Tests and 37 wickets at 43.56 in 37 ODIs.