Captain Abell extends Somerset contract
PUBLISHED: 15:13 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:13 18 November 2019
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Somerset County Cricket Club have announced captain Tom Abell has pledged his future to the side.
The 25-year-old has signed a new contract extension which will see him remain at the Cooper Associates County Ground until at least the end of the 2022 season.
His current deal was due to expire in the winter of 2021, but the club have been quick to secure his services for an additional year.
Abell, who attended Taunton School and Exeter University before signing his first professional contract in 2015, was named Young Wisden Schools' Cricketer of the Year for 2013.
He went on to make his debut for Somerset in a Specsavers County Championship match against Warwickshire at Taunton in 2014 and made an immediate impact by scoring an eye-catching 95.
He was awarded the Somerset captaincy ahead of the 2017 season and, at the age of 23, became one of the club's youngest ever captains.
He was at the helm as Somerset won the 2019 Royal London One-Day Cup, becoming the first Somerset captain to lift a one-day trophy since Graeme Smith in 2005.
Since making his Somerset debut, he has featured in 73 first-class matches for the county, scoring over 3800 runs with a best of 135. He has also developed into a fine red-ball bowler, claiming 35 wickets for the club at an average of 26.68.
Abell has also excelled in limited overs cricket in recent seasons and 2019 saw him claim his maiden T20 century, while he has now scored over 650 runs in the format at an average of 31.38 with an impressive strike rate of 148.75.
In List A cricket he has scored over 630 runs at an average of 31.80 with a high score of 106.
He also plays a leading role in the Club's Community Engagement Programme and after committing his future to the club, he said: "I'm absolutely over the moon to have signed this extension and I couldn't be happier.
"Ultimately, it's about winning and the reason I've signed is because I want to win things here. It's no secret that this is my home club and I'm very passionate about Somerset cricket and I firmly believe that with the squad we have and the people behind the scenes we can continue to win things.
"Lifting the Royal London One-Day Cup this year was incredible but by no means have we finished there. Having won that competition, we were desperate to win the Championship. It didn't quite happen, but our sights are firmly set on going one better next year.
"The club means absolutely everything to me. It's my life and I try to give absolutely everything that I can for Somerset Cricket, and it hurts when that's not quite enough and we don't come out on the right side of the result.
"To me, this place is my extended family. A lot gets made of the support that we get and rightly so. Having the support that we get is incredible."
Somerset Director of Cricket Andy Hurry added: "We can't speak highly enough of Tom. He is an extremely talented cricketer who is able to adapt his game across the three formats. This kind of versatility makes him the perfect player for the current era.
"He is an outstanding leader of men and, despite still being relatively young, he has a tremendous amount of experience already. He has the absolute respect of everyone at the Club and he perfectly epitomises what a professional sportsman should be.
"His work ethic is second to none and he leads by example both on and off the field. His dedication to training, the standards he sets and his outstanding preparation work, allied to his performances on the field, are the perfect example for any aspiring athlete.
"His passion for the game is infectious and that can be seen every time he sets foot in the ground. There is no doubt that he has been one of the key factors behind our recent success and his drive and enthusiasm will be vital as we look to the future."