Thomas Benjamin Abell
March 05, 1994, Taunton, Somerset
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Tom Abell had a demanding, and sometimes traumatic, blooding as Somerset's Championship captain when he was awarded the role for the 2017 season. He was 23 when the season began, putting him among the youngest county captains; by the end of the season must have felt twice that age.
By early July, things had turned sour. Abell was dropped to find batting form in the 2nd XI after a pair at Southampton meant his lack of runs could no longer be overlooked. His coach Matthew Maynard remained insistent that he was "a genuine leader of men", but Somerset were 29 points adrift of safety with half the season gone. What followed was remarkable: Somerset escaped relegation on the final day with Abell at the helm once more, his batting average stabilised at 26, and his ambitions restored.
Abell's ability not only to survive that grounding but to prosper in seasons to come confirmed that there he possessed more steel than his polite style might convey. In 2019, he led Somerset to their first silverware in 14 years, the Royal London Cup, and he developed into an innovative T20 batter with a broad repertoire of trick-shots, including a reverse-scoop which earned the attention of Jos Buttler.
By 2022, he was captain across formats, taking the T20 reins from Lewis Gregory, and a regular on the franchise circuit during the winters. He also became a senior player and occasional captain for England Lions, and earned a first full call-up for England's white-ball tour to Bangladesh in early 2023.
A product of Taunton School, Abell was named Young Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year for 2013 after a 2012 season in which he amassed 1,156 runs at an average of 193. He made seven hundreds in 11 innings and passed 50 every time.
Aged just 20 and with more than a touch of the schoolboy still about his build and fresh face, he made an accomplished 95 in his maiden first-class innings against Warwickshire. Had he scored five more in that first innings, he would have become the first Somerset-born player to register a century on their Championship debut since Harold Gimblett in 1935. One of the umpires, Steve O'Shaughnessy, rated it the finest first-class debut innings he had ever seen.
Further progress followed in 2015 with a maiden Championship hundred against Hampshire during which an opening stand of 272 with Marcus Trescothick felt to Somerset supporters like the official connection of two generations.
Abell, who by then was studying for a degree in French and sports science at Exeter University, eschewed a year abroad to commit instead to more fluency in his cricket career. "Cricket is not played much in France so it probably wasn't the ideal subject to choose," he said ruefully.
Tom Abell Career Stats
Batting & Fielding
Debut/Last Matches of Tom Abell
List A Matches