Matches (12)
IPL (2)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)
Pakistan vs New Zealand (1)

Somerset could let Shoaib Bashir go out on loan

Jason Kerr says playing two spinners unlikely but open to helping Bashir continue his development

Somerset's head coach has responded to the challenge laid down by Brendon McCullum, calling for game time for England's young spinners, by suggesting that Shoaib Bashir could be allowed to go out on loan.
Bashir and Tom Hartley have thrived out in India despite limited grounding in the county game and McCullum said earlier this week that it would "slightly mad" if they did not get increased opportunities during the coming season.
While McCullum suggested he would like to see Bashir and Jack Leach bowling in tandem at Somerset, Jason Kerr said that situation was unlikely for the start of the County Championship in spring conditions that tend to encourage seam bowling.
"It's certainly not easy but I always try and put myself in the player's shoes and what they want is to play cricket," Kerr told the Press Association. "We start the season on April 5 and I'd be surprised if too many teams are playing two specialist spinners. So I understand there will be some questions about it.
"Bash will be on cloud nine right now and riding that. He would have seen the world very differently at the start of the winter than he does now that he's had international opportunities and done very well. So it's important to have really honest, transparent conversations."
Bashir was only signed by Somerset at the start of last summer, after impressing for the 2nd XI, and played six times in the Championship, taking 10 wickets at 67.00. He has since exceeded that number in two Tests for England but will likely find himself back down the pecking order behind Leach, England's senior spinner, who returned home from the tour of India with a knee injury.
"There's still a lot of water to go under the bridge, but what I'm not going to do is stand in the way of anyone's opportunity," Kerr said.
"We will always do what is best for the player and we've done it time and time again. We've allowed people to go on loan and get some cricket because it can benefit them and us in the future, and we've said no to players because they're next in line and we might need them.
"We will look at each case as it arises but, historically, we've been open to it."
A similar situation arose at Somerset a few years ago, when Dom Bess emerged to briefly replace Leach as England spinner - Bess went on loan to Yorkshire before making a permanent move in 2021.
With Leach currently recovering from knee surgery, there may be a chance for Bashir to stake his claim at the start of the county season. But Kerr indicated that Leach would be at the forefront of his planning once fit.
"It's important we see both of the guys bowling first but we also look at what Leachy has done for club and country over the years," he said. "We always want competition for places and we want it to be healthy. Nobody has the right to start but Jack has got a lot of experience and, from my side, that counts for a lot.
"Bash has so much time to grow and to become a world-class spinner who can bowl on all surfaces and know when to defend and attack. He'll be coming back from India to very different conditions in the UK.
"We're an incredibly ambitious club and we want to inspire players to represent England. We want to help them fulfil those aspirations and that doesn't change whether it's Shoaib or Jack."