Somerset has announced the signings of veteran Aussie opening bat Chris Rogers and Kent’s young wicket keeper / batsman Ryan Davies as part of Matt Maynard’s reshuffling of the pack at Taunton.
The signing of Rogers was widely tipped after it appeared that his previous county side Middlesex were looking at other options for the 2016 season. Rogers played for Australia in this summer’s Ashes series but announced his retirement from international cricket before the series ended, despite having a good personal summer scoring 480 runs in 9 innings’ at an average of 53.3.
He whacked 173 in the first innings of the 2nd Test at Lords as Australia beat England comfortably to level the series and passed fifty on three other occasions.
At 38 Rogers will be deemed as a short-term solution but will bring some much needed stability to the Somerset top order. He will bat, most likely, at number three. The side missed Nick Compton in 2015, and the almost guaranteed 1,000 plus runs he brings to the table every season, and Tom Cooper struggled to fill the void having a hit-and-miss first season at Somerset but is not available for 2016 anyway.
Somerset will be Rogers’ fifth county side as he has also represented Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northants, and Middlesex. It remains to be seen whether he will have any captaincy duties.
The signing of Davies is a little less obvious and appeared under the radar. The young right-handed batsman is a product of the Kent Academy and turns 19 on November 5th. He made his first class debut for Kent against Derbyshire in June after Sam Billings was called up to play for England and, in all, he played five times in the red ball game scoring 35 runs with a highest score of 17. He took 9 catches in those games. He also played in three T20 matches batting just once and scoring 6.
With very few quality domestic keepers available Maynard has opted for promise than proven ability. The keeping duties have been an issue for Somerset since losing Jos Buttler to Lancashire and England and the premature retirement of Craig Kieswetter. Neither Alex Barrow nor James Regan made the position their own and skipper Marcus Trescothick and Kiwi international Luke Ronchi also filled in at times.
These signings take Maynard’s tally to three following the capture of the popular Roleof van der Merwe for all forms of the game for 2016. These may not be the last to join up at Taunton with Maynard stating a desire to recruit a left-arm fast bowler with Derbyshire’s Mark Footitt strongly linked.
Twitter was awash with rumours last evening after the club issued a teaser that the club would be announcing two new signings at 10.30am on Wednesday morning and a tweet from chairman Andy Nash followed saying the club were announcing two “great” signings whilst also lauding the club’s financial performance.
We welcome both players to Taunton and wish them all the very best in their careers at Somerset County Cricket Club.