ROELOF van der Merwe is the latest Somerset County Cricket Club player to agree a contract extension, which takes him through to at least the end of the 2022 season.

As well as announcing his one-year extension, Somerset confirmed that the spin bowler - who has played international cricket for South Africa and the Netherlands - has been registered as a local player.

Van der Merwe's Dutch passport had allowed him to play county cricket as a European citizen under the Kolpak ruling.

But, following Brexit, the England & Wales Cricket Board advised counties that the Kolpak loophole would close at the end of 2020.

Van der Merwe had initially joined Somerset on a short-term contract in 2011, then returned in 2016.

Since then the 36-year-old has become a valuable member of the squad, across all three formats - scoring more than 2,100 runs and taking more than 150 wickets.

In 2017 he broke the record for the highest score by a Somerset player in a 50-over match, with a brilliant knock of 165* against Surrey in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Taunton.

He went on to play a key role in Somerset winning the One-Day Cup in 2019.

Van der Merwe, who has also represented Taunton Deane Cricket Club, said: "It goes without saying that I’m delighted to be staying at Somerset.

"Somerset is my home and I have loved every minute of my time here.

"We have a great squad and I’m really excited to see what we can achieve as a group.

"This is a very exciting time for the club, and there is a real chance that we can add to the trophy that we won in 2019.

"I know it is a tough time for people at the moment and we hope that we can put some smiles on people’s faces this summer by being successful on the field."

Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured the services of a player of Roelof’s calibre for the next two seasons.

"His performances on the field speak for themselves, and the way he conducts himself off the field is credit to him and the club.

“The energy and enthusiasm that he brings to everything that he does is exceptional, and he is a great role model for the younger players within the squad.

“I am also pleased to be able to confirm that we are able to register Roelof as a local player.”


TOM Abell's 23* fired Delhi Bulls into the Abu Dhabi T10 final on Friday.

The Bulls had finished top of the standings after the 'Super League' phase of the competition, and that meant a match against second-placed Northern Warriors for a place in the final.

Despite a score of 32 from Nicholas Pooran (Abell taking the catch to dismiss the big-hitting West Indian), the Warriors were limited to 97-7, with Dwayne Bravo taking 2-14.

The Bulls were struggling a little at 72-5, but the Somerset captain came in at that point and scored two fours and a six in his 11-ball stint to get his side over the line.

Abell and the Bulls will face the winner of tonight's play-off match between the Warriors and Qalanders/Team Abu Dhabi in tomorrow's final.