Popular all-rounder Craig Meschede will be leaving Somerset before the start of the 2016 season.
The South African born Mesch, who turned 24 years old in November, is now in the last year of his contract and will be joining Glamorgan where he spent all last year on loan.
Mesch attended Kings College playing Cricket under the guidance of former Somerset spinner Dennis Breakwell and joined Somerset in 2010 alongside school mate Alex Barrow. He qualified as a non-overseas player due to his German passport on his father’s side.
He made his senior debut for Somerset in January 2011 in a T20 match against Guyana at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua in a game Somerset lost by 1 run. He was not asked to bowl in the game and scored a solitary run.
His List A debut came a few months later on 15th May against Lancashire in Taunton. Somerset won by 7 wickets thanks to a marvellous 111 from skipper Marcus Trescothick as the home team chased down 248 in just 32 overs. Again his debut was not memorable personally and he was not needed with bat or ball.
His first class career launched a few days later in Hove in a game Somerset lost to Sussex by 8 wickets and he enjoyed scores of 18 and 15 not out. In his time at Taunton he didn’t manage to score a century but hit two in Glamorgan colours in 2015 – a match-saving 101 against Surrey in April and 107 against Northants in May.
Speaking exclusively to The Incider in November, Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard hinted that Mesch’s days at Somerset may be numbered and that the young man may prefer more opportunities to play 1st XI games at Cardiff. Following confirmation of Craig’s departure Matt said: “At this stage of his career Craig feels that he needs to be playing First XI cricket every week and that is not something that could be guaranteed here at Somerset. He clearly enjoyed his time at Glamorgan last year and feels that they can offer him more First XI opportunities, which is obviously appealing to a young cricketer.
“It’s always hard when a player is coming to the end of his contract especially one who has come through the ranks, but we feel that this is the best move for both Somerset CCC and Craig”.
It is always hard to say goodbye to a younger and talented player, but the reality is that Craig’s opportunities to play in the 1st XI at Somerset were going to be limited. You can only play eleven players in any game and Mesch had Peter Trego and Jim Allenby ahead of him in the pecking order in all formats, and both are clearly rated highly by Matt Maynard. The club also has other players of all-round talent in Craig Overton and Lewis Gregory who have potential to be much better players so this announcement has been inevitable.
That said there have been a fair few supporters calling for his return on social media and not every fan will be happy with his leaving the club.
The player has clearly found a happy home in Cardiff and will prove to be a big success in the Welsh Capital. We certainly wish him well.