Somerset spinner and Ireland international George Dockrell has signed an extension to his contract which will see him play at Taunton for a further season.
The tall left-arm spinner, who is currently on tour with Ireland in Australia and New Zealand preparing for the 2015 World Cup, first joined Somerset on a two-year contract in 2010.
Born in Dublin, George announced his arrival on the cricketing scene at the age of 17 when playing for Ireland at the World T20 in the West Indies where he took 3 for 16 against the host nation before bowling 4 overs for 19 against England. He has been a regular fixture in the Ireland side ever since, playing in 39 ODIs and taking 46 wickets at 28.47. He has also played 26 T20Is, taking 33 wickets at 16.33.
He made his first appearance for Somerset during the Caribbean T20 early in 2011 and later that year made his Championship debut.
In his second Championship game Dockrell took a career best 6 for 27 against Middlesex which he followed up with 6 for 29 against Durham later in the year.
Standing at six feet four, George extracts plenty of bounce which can cause problems for batsmen, especially when the ball is turning. He is known as a thinker and people watcher and was singled out by Brian Rose early in his career as future captaincy material.
The 22 year-old said: “I’m delighted to have extended my contract with the club. I am really looking forward to next season and hopefully bringing some silverware back to Taunton.”
Chief Executive Guy Lavender said: “I am very pleased that George will be staying with us next year. He is a very talented young player who has an increasing amount of both international and first class experience. I am sure he will make a valuable contribution to our performances next year.”
After a disappointing 2013, George played nine County Championship matches in 2014, taking 21 wickets with a best bowling performance of 3-44 against Lancashire at Old Trafford in June. He played just two Royal London matches and eventually lost his place Jack Leach in both competitions. A shoulder injury then kept him out of the three-match one-day international series between Ireland and Scotland in Dublin, although George made a return for Somerset Seconds before the end of the season.
So far on tour in Australia this autumn, he has played in three matches, hitting an unbeaten 32 in a losing cause in the first game against Queensland and then taking a key wicket in the second fixture against the same opposition.
The Ireland squad have also had some time to explore Australia, including a visit to Dreamworld, the country’s biggest theme park on the Gold Coast, to promote the upcoming World Cup. George posed for the cameras holding a Koala bear as part of the photocall before the Ireland squad had a go on some on the rides!
We’ll keep you up to date with George’s progress Down Under here on The InCider throughout the winter and wish him all the best for the remainder of the tour.