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Rogers still harbours Somerset title dream

Chris Rogers has memories of last season's near miss Getty Images

Chris Rogers, the former Australia batsman, is refusing to abandon hope of helping Somerset to a first Championship title.

Rogers retired at the end of last season in emotional circumstances as Somerset, Championship leaders going into the last day of the season, watched on TV at their Taunton headquarters as Middlesex stole the prize with a last-gasp victory against Yorkshire.

That seemed to be it for Rogers, as far as Somerset were concerned, but he will return as a batting coach and player mentor for the first half of the forthcoming season.

As yet, there seems no possibility that Rogers, at 39, will strap on the pads again - even if an obvious opportunity will open up mid-season when Dean Elgar, the batsman signed to replace him, heads off for South Africa's Test series in England.

And if Somerset are harbouring even the tiniest hope that Rogers might make a dramatic comeback they certainly aren't saying.

Matt Maynard, Somerset's director of cricket, is just delighted that Rogers will be returning to the southwest. "Chris made a massive impact both on and off the field last year," he said. "He was a huge part of what we achieved in the summer and was by far the outstanding candidate for the position. It goes without saying that we are delighted he will be working with us again in 2017.

"He knows exactly what we expect from our players and is familiar with the culture that we have created within the dressing room. He will join us on March 1 and will be with us until June 30 and in that time he'll act as our batting coach. In addition to that he'll also work with the whole squad in a mentoring capacity.

"The young players will learn a tremendous amount from him and he'll ensure that the more experienced guys maintain the high standards that they set last year."

Regarding his return Rogers said: "Last year Matt Maynard and I floated the idea of coming back in a coaching capacity if I did retire and I'm greatly appreciative that he and the club have given me this opportunity to work with the players and develop my own skills.

"Coaching is something I feel passionate about as well as giving back to the game and I couldn't think of a better place to start than at Somerset and learning from the staff there.

"The club made some significant strides last year and hopefully I can help Somerset achieve some silverware in 2017. It's nothing more than the supporters deserve."