Somerset ‘keeper James Regan made his return to competitive cricket for Somerset Seconds and club side Taunton St Andrews this week after spending three weeks on the sidelines with a broken finger.
Regan turned out for St Andrews’ First XI on Saturday in their WEPL Premier One home game against Clevedon and while he made just 1 run and did not keep, it was an important first step back.
The following day the 21-year-old found himself back in the runs as he helped himself as an opener to 47 for St Andrews’ Sunday First XI in a game against Watchet at the Wyvern Club.
And over the past two days, Regan donned the wicket-keeping gloves for the first time in a match since his return, as Somerset Seconds took on Hampshire in a two-day friendly at Taunton Vale. He scored 19 with the bat in Somerset’s only innings.
Regan, who was born in Surrey, first played for the Somerset Seconds in 2011 and was awarded a contract after graduating through the Academy.
Last season he played in nine Second XI Championship matches in which he scored almost 500 runs at an average of over 40, which included two centuries. He was also named the West of England Premier League player of the season after finishing as the leading run scorer in Premier One. Regan was in prolific form for St Andrews in 2014, hitting 682 runs in 13 innings in the WEPL at an average of 52.46, including two centuries and five half-centuries.
With that form behind him, he was looking to push on in 2015, so his injury came as a setback.
Speaking before his return with St Andrews, Regan said: “I broke my metacarpal on my right index finger just on the knuckle, which happened a little more than three weeks ago, which has been extremely frustrating for me because, being a cricketer, all you want to do is play the game so I am very keen to get back out there in the middle.”
“This week things have stepped up really well for me and I have managed to bat and keep and have just come through a half hour spell with the gloves on back to normality.”
How had his season gone before he broke his finger? “We hadn’t played a lot of cricket so it was probably the worst possible time for me to get an injury,” he said.
“But that’s professional sport and hopefully I will come back stronger and I’m pretty relaxed about it. There is a lot of cricket left this season so I am just going to try to score as many runs as I can and take as many catches as possible.”
Regan added: “For me now it is very simple. Score runs and take catches behind the wicket and I believe everything else will take care of itself after that.”
Former Hampshire gloveman Michael Bates, who was released by the Southampton-based county last season has been filling in for Regan in the Seconds since his injury.
Regan’s return will increase the pressure on Alex Barrow who has been struggling for runs in the Somerset first team, although he has largely kept well. Marcus Trescothick, meanwhile, continues to keep wicket and open the batting in the NatWest T20 Blast campaign.
Meanwhile, Somerset spinner Jack Leach who has been out of action since suffering concussion as a result of a fall updated fans via Twitter on his recovery this week.
Leach tweeted on Monday: “Slow progress, but the nut is on the mend and feeling better and better every day. Bring on the rest of the season and dry wickets!”
The spinner added his thanks to Somerset County Cricket Club and the PCA for their support.