Australian Test batsman Cameron Bancroft will be joining Somerset as their overseas player for 2018.
The 25-year-old opener, who can also keep wicket, made his international debut for Australia in the Twenty20 against India in January 2016 and his Test debut earlier in the current Ashes series.
Bancroft is no stranger to the West Country, having played part of both the 2016 and 2017 seasons for Gloucestershire.
In 2016 Bancroft had a two-month stint with Gloucestershire, but when he returned this summer he played in 11 Championship matches, and in the 21 innings he scored 685 runs at an average of 40.29, which included an unbeaten 206 in his final innings against Kent in September.
Andy Hurry, Somerset’s director of cricket, has searched long and hard to find who he feels is the right player, who is also available for the whole season, which has been no easy task.
“Cameron will be available, subject to permission from Cricket Australia, for the start of the 2018 Specsavers County Championship season, all of the Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures plus the six remaining Championship matches that take place after the T20 Blast group stages,” said Hurry.
“This will provide us with the continuity that we are looking for from an overseas signing.
“He has come very highly recommended and will fit seamlessly into our environment. This will be a key ingredient to us achieving our aspirations of winning silverware.
“Cameron has the appetite and the temperament for scoring big hundreds. He really values the price of his wicket, is mentally tough and highly driven to succeed.” In the second innings of his Test debut, Bancroft, who is a patient right handed batsman and a good player of spin made an attractive unbeaten 82 to help Australia seal a ten wicket victory over England.
After making the decision to sign for Somerset, the Aussie opener said: “I’m really excited to be joining a county with so much potential. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Somerset from Justin Langer and it’s clear that they are a team heading in the right direction.”
Bancroft added: “There’s a long history of Australians doing well at Taunton, so hopefully I can add my name to that list.”