After weeks of speculation Somerset County Cricket Club has announced the signing of Glamorgan stalwart Jim Allenby, who has been released from his contract by the Welsh county so he can move to the south west.
Heading in the other direction is Craig Meschede who leaves Somerset to replace Allenby at the SWALEC Stadium on a season-long loan deal.
Allenby, 32, who was born in Western Australia but is England qualified, averages over 40 with the bat in first-class cricket and has taken 254 wickets at 25.79 runs each in the 121 games he has played.
He also has an impressive record in one-day cricket and in his 95 List A matches he averages 26.20 with the bat and 31.85 with the ball, while in T20 cricket he has scored 2500 runs at 32.09 and claimed 52 wickets at 32.40.
He will be missed at Glamorgan with their Chief Executive Hugh Morris saying: “Whilst we appreciate the on-field contribution Jim has made to Glamorgan County Cricket Club over the past five seasons, we are disappointed he feels the next stage of his career would be best served away from the SWALEC Stadium.
“It is a shame to see Jim depart, but as we are focused on rebuilding a team capable of consistently competing for domestic honours, we need to have everyone at the club fully committed to bringing success back to the county.”
Allenby reflects on his time in the principality with fondness, saying: “I have enjoyed my time at Glamorgan and I would like to thank the supporters for welcoming me to Wales and for all the support whilst I have played for the club.
“I leave Glamorgan with some great memories and what I hope will be lifelong friendships. I wish the players every success and hope they have long and enjoyable careers.”
But Glamorgan’s loss would appear to be Somerset’s gain with Director of Cricket, Matt Maynard, saying: “I am delighted that Jim is joining us. Not only is he an outstanding player in all formats, he is a great bloke and a strong character and I am sure he will play a key part in helping us to build a cohesive and successful team.”
“Whilst not a like-for-like replacement for Nick Compton, there is no doubt in my mind that Jim is a superb acquisition to a very talented Somerset squad.”
On his move to Taunton Jim Allenby said: “I am delighted to be joining Somerset which is a club I hold in extremely high regard. My aspirations are to win trophies and I am really looking forward to helping Somerset strive to achieve that objective.”
There are strong rumours that Allenby will have some captaincy commitments at Somerset, possibly sharing duties with current skipper Marcus Trescothick, but this has not been confirmed by the club.
22 year-old all-rounder Meschede, who came through the Academy and made his senior debut in 2011, had only limited opportunities at the County Ground last summer so the move to South Wales should offer the chance to play more first team cricket.
Mesch said: “Whilst it will be tough to leave Somerset, albeit on loan, I am relishing the opportunity of developing my skills as a professional cricketer and I am really looking forward to the challenges and excitement of joining Glamorgan for the season.”
Somerset Director of Cricket, Matt Maynard said of Meschede: “Craig has been brilliant in recognising that a loan to Glamorgan will enable him to play more first team matches than was likely at Somerset next season.”
“The maturity and enthusiasm which he has displayed since I raised the possibility of a loan move with him has been heartening and I am sure he will grow in stature and experience during the 2015 season.”