Somerset sign Faf du Plessis to replace Gayle
PUBLISHED: 14:26 08 May 2012 | UPDATED: 15:14 08 May 2012
Somerset have moved swiftly to replace West Indian Chris Gayle announced late last week that he would be returning to international cricket in time for the forthcoming one-day international series with England, which clashes with the Friends Life t20, and, as a result, would be reneging on his contract at the County Ground.
Brian Rose, whilst acknowledging that Somerset ‘have been messed around’, is delighted that they have quickly found a replacement in South African star Faf du Plessis.
The 27-year-old – who is very similar in ability to Roelof van der Merwe, who became such a hit at Taunton last summer – has taken 49 Twenty20 wickets at 15.89 with his legbreaks.
The Chennai Super Kings opener also averages 24.68 with a strike-rate of 122.75 in the 20-over format, in addition to a 31.52 average from 21 ODIs.
Director of cricket Rose said: “On top of his bowling and batting, both of which are very effective, he must be the best fielder in the world at the moment. I am absolutely delighted we are able to sign such a quality player.We were pursuing him as soon as we knew there may be a problem with Gayle – he has been like a bird in the hand. He is a very versatile cricketer, very similar to Roelof – and I only wish we could have them both. People may talk about Chris Gayle not coming and say it’s a disaster, but we genuinely tried our best to get him here – it just didn’t work out and so we move on. In one way, I am not concerned in the slightest that it has panned out like this. We faced the same situation with Kieron Pollard, when he said he wanted to play for the West Indies this summer, and you can’t replace Kieron – just as you can’t replace Chris. But what you can do is adjust – and we will do that.”
Somerset still need to sign an overseas player for all formats of the game for the second half of the season – and Du Plessis is now in the frame.
“It is a possibility,” said Rose. “We are having a look at that at the moment. I have only just started to consider that, but we must also remember he is very close to the South Africa Test team, so we will have to wait and see.”