Chris Rogers, the former Australia opener, has signed a one-year deal with Somerset who will become his fifth English county.
Rogers retired from international cricket after the final Ashes Test at The Oval in August and his highest score, 173, came during the series at Lord's although that was also the match where he was forced to retire hurt after suffering dizzy spells in the second innings.
Somerset have said that Rogers is set to bat at No. 3 next season, meaning the opening partnership will remain Marcus Trescothick and 21-year-old Tom Abell who made 726 runs at 36.30 in 2015 and won the LV=Breakthrough Player award.
"I'm really pleased to be joining a club of the stature of Somerset," Rogers said. "I have always enjoyed playing cricket in England and as soon as I heard that Somerset were interested I wanted to make it happen. There have been quite a few Australian players who have done really well down at Taunton and hopefully I can add my name to that list. I'm looking forward to the challenge and can't wait to get started."
Somerset held onto their Division One status in the Championship although were not secure until the final round. Their batting has continued to lean heavily on Trescothick and James Hildreth, who scored 1284 and 1390 runs respectively in the 2015 season, although the emergence of Abell was a significant development.
Matthew Maynard, Somerset's director of cricket, hopes Rogers' wealth of experience will rub off on the younger players. "Chris Rogers is an outstanding batsman with an excellent attitude towards the game. He will score runs on the field and will have a positive impact off it as well. He is an excellent professional and our young players will learn a lot from him."
Rogers has previously played county cricket for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and most recently Middlesex until 2014. However, his connections with Middlesex ended in somewhat controversial circumstances when he became embroiled in an Ashes ticket scheme where a company Rogers co-founded was offering hospitality packages for sale.
Somerset also announced the signing of 18-year-old wicketkeeper Ryan Davies from Kent. He has played for England Under-19s having joined the Kent Academy as a 13-year-old. Somerset have struggled for a regular wicketkeeper since the double loss of Jos Buttler to Lancashire and Craig Kieswetter to injury-forced retirement.
Alex Barrow played six Championship matches in 2015 but averaged just 13.33 and the county subsequently signed New Zealand wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi and the former Hampshire gloveman Michael Bates.