SOMERSET could find themselves without the services of Craig Kieswetter for the first two months of the summer after he decided to enter the auction for the 2014 India Premier League, writes Richard Walsh.
Kieswetter made his senior debut for the Cidermen in 2007, since when he has gone on to play 46 ODI and 25 T20 Internationals for England.
After a successful season in 2013 and his first winter playing at the Big Bash in Australia, the 26- year-old has been included in the 30 strong England squad for the World T20 which is taking place in March.
Kieswetter has chosen to exercise his contractual rights to submit his name into the IPL auction which takes place on the February 12 2014.
And if he is snapped up he is likely to miss the opening two months of the domestic season.
Somerset CEO Guy Lavender said: “Craig is currently in his last year of a contract which he signed three years ago – which allows him to participate in the IPL tournament at his discretion.
“Of course entering the auction does not mean that he will be purchased, but we will all know a bit more in early February once the actual IPL auction process is complete.”
Director of cricket Dave Nosworthy said: “Naturally this is bad news for us as a club – but we must honour our contractual commitments and obligations, not just with Craig, but with all our players.
“If Craig does get bought into the IPL tournament, I am quietly optimistic, and of the firm belief that it will merely just create another opportunity for someone else to step up.”
Should Kieswetter be unavailable for the first part of the season it would pave the way for Alex Barrow or young James Regan to step up into the role – a job which Barrow carried out very efficiently when called upon in 2013.
The ECB have confirmed that three of Somerset’s fixtures for the coming season have had to be re-arranged: The NatWest T20 Blast fixture against Middlesex at the Kia Oval has been brought forward 24 hours and will now take place on Wednesday, June 18 and not Thursday, June 19 as previously announced.
The Natwest T20 Blast game at Hampshire that was due to be played on Saturday, July 5, will now take place on Sunday, July 6.
The other game that has been changed is Somerset’s LV=County Championship against Middlesex at Uxbridge which will now begin on Monday, July 7 instead of Sunday, July 6.