A SECOND Somerset fast bowler has decided to leave the club, as youngster Nathan Gilchrist follows Jamie Overton in seeking pastures new.

It was announced earlier this month that Overton was joining Surrey ahead of the 2021 season, and now 20-year-old Gilchrist has signed a three-year deal with Kent.

Gilchrist took 4-32 in Somerset's warm-up match against Gloucestershire at the end of July, but has not featured in their first two Bob Willis Trophy matches, and will join Kent on loan for the remainder of this season.

Gilchrist was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, and grew up in South Africa, and first came to England through a cricket exchange between St Stithians School in Johannesburg and King’s College, Taunton.

He joined Somerset's playing staff in September 2018, shortly after graduating from the Academy and took 27 wickets for the 2nd XI last year.

Gilchrist said: "It’s been really tough to come to this decision, but ultimately I just feel that this is best for me and my career at the moment.

“That doesn’t take anything away from everything that Somerset have given me.

"I’m really thankful to the club, all the coaching staff, the players and the fans for being so supportive over the last four years.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Somerset and I’m really grateful to them for giving me the chance to become a professional cricketer and reach the dream that I’ve had since a young age.

“The club gave me a home when I came over from South Africa and I will be forever grateful for everything that they’ve done for me.

"Ultimately, I just feel that a fresh challenge is something that I need to kick-start my career."

Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry commented: "We are disappointed that Nathan has decided to move on, but we respect his decision.

“We offered him a multi-year extension that would have enabled us to continue to support his development, and we genuinely felt that he would be competing for a 1st XI place this season and beyond.

“However, Nathan feels that opportunities more appropriate to his immediate aspirations lie elsewhere at this time.

"He is a very popular member of the dressing room and we thank him for his service to the club and wish him well."

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton said: “We’re really pleased that Nathan has agreed to join us at Kent.

"He is an exciting prospect who we are confident will become a significant cricketer for the county.

“He is a talented young bowler who can bowl some quick spells and we look forward to giving him plenty of opportunity and encouragement to help develop his undoubted potential."