Somerset’s James Regan named Premier league player of the year

ReganSomerset’s James Regan has been 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 his club side Taunton St Andrews, hitting 682 runs in 13 innings in the WEPL at an average of 52.46.

The wicket-keeper batsman stroked two centuries and five half-centuries, including an invaluable 95 on the final day of the season to help his side narrowly avoid relegation.

In a brilliant all-round performance, he also helped St Andrews take the regional T20 title in a seven-wicket victory at North Parade over home side Bath in July.

In that game, Regan captained the team, took two wickets for 21 runs and smashed 81off just 53 balls with 12 fours and two sixes.

James, who turned 20 in May, was equally prolific for Somerset Seconds, scoring 736 runs in all formats of the game at an average of 46, as well as taking 21 catches and making two stumpings.

He scored two centuries within the space of two weeks in the Second XI Championship against Essex and Northamptonshire. On both occasions he spent four and a half hours at the crease in a rearguard action to help secure a draw on the final day.

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Born in Frimley, Surrey, James first arrived in Somerset at the age of 16 when he was recruited from Hampshire to join the Academy during which time he attended King’s College in Taunton.

Since then he has graduated from the Academy and after spending his first season at the County Ground on a summer contract he signed a full time deal.

Talking to the club website, James said: “This has been a breakthrough season for me from a cricketing point of view and also mentally.

“I got a lot of confidence from playing club cricket with St Andrew’s early on which I was able to take forward into my Second XI cricket for Somerset.

“As the year went on I got more mature and understood what was required of me as a player and my role in the side and I think that led to the performances I achieved, which I was pretty pleased with.

“This has been one of my most prolific seasons. I did a lot of hard work with Dave Houghton, Andy Hurry and Jason Kerr which helped me a great deal not just technically but also mentally and that was the key part for me. It enabled me to grasp how I wanted to play and how I could go about building an innings in the longer format and score runs in the short format.”

Talking about those two marathon centuries in mid-summer, James said: “I am really pleased to have scored those centuries because it’s a little monkey off my back and I know now that I can do it, and hopefully next season will bring more.”

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Taunton St Andrews has been where James has played his club cricket since he first arrived in the county. He paid tribute to the club for all they have done for him: “I owe a lot to Taunton St Andrews and their chairman Richard Brice because they have made me feel really welcome and they have given me good friends who I could rely upon both on and off the pitch which has been important to me.

“We have got a great bunch of lads at Taunton St Andrews and we all want to play well for each other especially in the National T20. I will never forget our game at Bath when the determination from everybody was very clear to see and we won well.”

Regan2With batsmen like James and Tom Abell coming through the Academy system, the future at Somerset looks very promising.

In the immediate future there is an opportunity for James and fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Barrow to press their cases for the vacant keeper’s place in next season’s first XI side following Craig Kieswetter’s decision to take time out of the game to recover more fully from his eye injury.

Having two keepers who have both started to come of age as batsmen offers Somerset extra options, which will be very welcome following Nick Compton and Alviro Petersen’s departure and Kieswetter’s injury.