It’s the time of the season when the county sides look at their playing staff in preparation for the next season and this inevitably sees a flow of coming’s and going’s.
It wasn’t a particular surprise to most Somerset fans when the Club announced that Alex Barrow would not be offered a new contract when his current one expires at the end of this season. But it is still a shame that things did not turn out better for Baz, who is a popular figure in the Somerset squad and a consummate professional.
In all honesty Baz did not really grab his chance after Craig Kieswetter’s serious eye injury in 2014 and subsequent premature retirement in 2015. The incoming Matt Maynard initially publicly supported the young Barrow as first choice wicket keeper with the promising James Regan as support. But Maynard felt the need to bring in replacements and former Hampshire keeper Michael Bates was brought in on a short term contract as was New Zealand international Luke Ronchi. And then Ryan Davies was signed from Kent for 2016.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for Barrow but he accepted the decision with grace and maturity, telling the Club’s official website: “I have been very lucky to have played with some fantastic players and to have played with some great friends. It’s been a pleasure to play with all of my team mates over the last few years and I wish them all every success going forward.
“As well as Jason Kerr and Paul Tweddle, I must also thank Greg Kennis for his time during my time on the academy; Andy Hurry during his time in charge plus Phil Lewis, Dennis Breakwell and Andy Jones for their support during my four years at Kings College.
“Darren Veness has had a big role in my development here and has seen me through four operations and has gone through each rehab period with me along with Ian Brewer and Jamie Thorpe.
”I wouldn’t have been able to follow this dream without the continued support from my family and friends and I am extremely grateful for everything they have done for me over the last 6 seasons and all the years before that.”
I met Alex on a few occasions and he was always polite. In fact he is one player from a select few who acknowledge me in the ground or out and about in Taunton, so will always be a favourite of mine! He will leave the Club with the best wishes of Somerset fans.
So with Barrow heading out the rumours of potential players coming in as replacement are rife. It is unlikely that Maynard will stick with one known keeper and Glamorgan’s Chris Cooke, Durham’s Phil Mustard and even Hampshire’s Adam Wheater have been named as possible replacements. But one rumour that won’t go away is Surrey’s Steven Davies, who is keen to wear the keeper’s gloves again having lost the role at his club to the impressive Ben Foakes. It would appear that if Davies wants to keep he will have to move clubs and this could open a move to Taunton.
Davies scored 104 in Surrey’s RLODC semi-final win against Yorkshire with Sky pundits debating Davies’ future heavily. Surrey man Mark Butcher was quizzed if Davies would stay or go and was apparently annoyed with Davies for not committing to the South Londoners.
Davies joined Surrey from Worcestershire and has been linked with Somerset before. A move to Taunton would offer the 30 year-old a chance to be nearer to his family who would be only a couple of hours easy drive away.
A move to Taunton, should it happen, would appear to be mutually beneficial for both sides.