County news January 25, 2012

Somerset sign Albie Morkel for Twenty20 season

ESPNcricinfo staff

Somerset have signed Albie Morkel, the South Africa allrounder, as one of their overseas players for this year's Friends Life t20 campaign. Another South African, Roelof van der Merwe, who played for Somerset in last year's Friends Life t20 and in the Champions League T20, had been expected to join the county from the start of June, from the Friends Life t20 onwards; but difficulties in obtaining a work permit for him led Somerset to seek an alternative.

Morkel, who has scored 2285 runs and taken 131 wickets in Twenty20 cricket, as well as played in 31 Twenty20 internationals, will join Chris Gayle as Somerset's overseas signings for the Friends Life t20. Somerset have finished as runners-up in England's domestic T20 competition in each of the last three seasons.

"The club has signed Albie Morkel from South Africa as our second overseas player for the T20 competition this season," Somerset's director of cricket Brian Rose said. "Albie is an immensely gifted cricketer and especially exciting one-day player, and fits in well with our setup in the T20. The combination of Gayle and Morkel is a mouth-watering prospect for our supporters."

Rose said that visa problems had delayed Somerset's signing of van der Merwe and bringing in another player for the latter stages of the season would become a priority, should the left-arm spinner fail to get clearance.

"As we went through the detailed paperwork process it became apparent that Roelof van der Merwe was highly unlikely to be granted a work permit due to current Home Office legislation, though the door remains open for him at Somerset if the situation can be resolved," Rose said. "In the event of Roelof being unable to gain Home Office clearance in time for this season, I will be actively looking for an overseas replacement for July, August and September."

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  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Albie morkal is such an grt player for limitted over cricket , south africa can make use of him , in t20 world cup he could be dangerous as he has shown performance in ipl for chennai super kings,

  • Adam on January 26, 2012, 14:25 GMT


    Given your constant digs on the subject, I assume you think Khawaja should not be playing for Australia, and that symonds never should have.

    Oh and 3-1.

  • Mark on January 26, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    @spence1324: At the end of the day, there are 18 counties, that is plenty of room for English youngsters. Somerset have a large amount of talented youngsters but none are as good as Morkel. Having him around will help the youngsters like Gregory (hopefully).

  • stuart on January 25, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    Jonesey 2.Given his poor your team are do you think this is why there are so few Aussies in county cricket.Given how poor you think our cricket is what does it say for your players.AS for Phil Hughes well God knows why they picked him.Maybe it is a pity thing after all your team are going downhill quick.

  • david on January 25, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    great.... yet again a place has been taken off a english youngster!

  • Mark on January 25, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Excellent news. Albie is one of my favourite cricketers. Can't wait to head down to the county ground to watch him.

  • Bryn on January 25, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    i rate albie morkel, huge hitter and can produce very good spells of bowling, although is hugely inconsistent. are england trying to get morkel into their test team? god knows they need a decent player

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