At the end of September 2016 I wrote an article called #SCCC2016: Five players Somerset may try to sign in 2016 selecting players that I believed that Somerset should look to recruit.
This was part of a series called ‘Take Five’. The link for that article is here.
So did any of these signings actually happen and did any of these players perform well enough in 2016 to justify the accolade of being linked to Somerset CCC by The Incider? Let’s take a look!
- Mark Footitt
Rumour has it that Somerset did make an approach to sign Footitt and conversations took place. But in the end the left-armer opted for money-bags Surrey after two highly successful seasons with Derbyshire that earned him a place on England’s tour of South Africa last winter.
His time at The Oval started badly and he was forced to leave the field during his new team’s weather-hit draw – ironically against Somerset – in a Specsavers County Championship game in April.
Eventually he played eight games in the Championship with a decent return of 34 wickets at 26.85 including three fivefer’s. Settled at Surrey he will be hoping for better luck in 2017.
- Ben Foakes
Foakes has impressed in 2016 with many claiming an England placed is not far away. The gloveman held 43 catches and claimed 3 stumping’s in the Championship and was also impressive with the bat, scoring 759 runs at 42.17 including one century and three fifties.
He would have proven to be a good signing for Somerset who opted for the potential in Kent’s number two keeper Ryan Davies instead. After a slow start young Davies held 27 catches with 6 stumping’s in the Championship. His 380 runs included three fifties at an average 21.11.
At just 19 Davies will get much better and will be boosted by the arrival of Steven Davies for 2017, ironically one of the keepers on Surrey’s books last season alongside Foakes. Somerset will have healthy competition for wicket keeping duties.
- Nick Browne
Browne scored 1,046 runs in Essex’s successful season in Division Two of the Championship. He struck two century’s and five fifties as his team finished top of the pile and he will have the chance to prove his worth in the top flight next season.
He is being talked about as having England potential, particularly by Sky Sports front man Nasser Hussain, who does carry a strong Essex bias. With a new challenge ahead for his current employers I doubt Browne would be made available at Chelmsford nor would he want to move.
- Sam Northeast
Kent’s club captain and player of the season had a very good 2016. Sam Northeast plundered more than 2,000 runs in all formats for a second successive year including 1,337 runs in the Championship with a highest score of 191. This tally included five hundreds and three fifties at a very impressive 83.56, the fifth best in Division Two.
In previous season’s he would have led Kent to promotion to Division One as they finished in second place in the table but, unluckily for them, they will remain in the second tier for 2017 after the league restructure.
If Northeast were to sign for Somerset then he would go some way to fulfilling the role vacated by Craig Kieswetter as he is an explosive one day batsman that would excite the Taunton crowd. He could also be an option as captain after his successful season following Chris Rogers’ retirement.
I can’t deny this is still a player who I would like to see in Somerset colours. If the player carries international ambitions – and why wouldn’t he? – then a move to Taunton could prove a healthy step in the right direction.
- Chris Rogers
Rogers was the one player of the five who actually joined Somerset. He was the skipper in the very successful Championship campaign that nearly saw the cidermen clinch a first title. Rogers would have gone down in Somerset folklore had that happened.
Rogers captained the side well with aggression, mentoring the youngsters throughout. The team had a reputation for imploding at key times but the horrific sessions from 1-2 seasons ago went. There were still a couple of worrying batting collapses but Rogers had the team playing with steel and determination.
His two hundreds in each innings of the final game against Notts pushed him past 1,000 runs but he was clearly unimpressed with his own contribution and decided to retire from all Cricket at the end of the season.
There is talk of him coming back in 2017 in a coaching role. I think we would all like that to become true.