Somerset sign South African opener Dean Elgar as an overseas player
What’s the story?
South African opener Dean Elgar has accepted a deal from Somerset to play as their overseas player in the 2017 season. The 29-year-old will be available to take part in all three formats for Somerset, who came agonisingly close to winning Division One last season.
The Proteas opening batsman who has established himself as one of the mainstays of the Test side will be available to play for Somerset across all formats in the 2017 season when he isn't busy with international matches. He admitted that he really enjoyed his time at the club back in 2013 and is eager to come back.
Elgar said: "The Club is in a really good place at the moment and I'm pleased that I'm going to be a part of that. They were unlucky not to win the title last year and I hope that I can help them go one better in 2017.”
Extra Cover: AB de Villiers opts out of England Test series
In case you didn’t know...
The Proteas have already lost Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw and Marchant de Lange to Kolpak deals, which has hurt their chances of building a strong side that is capable of regaining the No.1 spot in Tests. But the news that their Test opener has taken an overseas deal ahead of a crucial tour will come as good news.
The heart of the matter
With plenty of doubt surrounding AB’s future as a Test player, the news that he has opted out of the England series won’t come as great news for the fans. However, the fact that he is just returning from injury has played a large part in that decision.
He admitted that he isn't ready for Tests just yet but is hopeful that everything will be fine. The Proteas star also added that he will take part in the domestic first-class competition for the Titans, in order to prove himself ahead of the series against India, the details of the tour that will take place in 2017 haven’t been revealed as yet.
South Africa will now take on Sri Lanka in the limited-overs leg of their tour before playing New Zealand in March and then travelling to England later in the year, without AB de Villiers, who opted out of the series as he is still not completely fine after his elbow surgery.
The recent trend of South Africa's Test players opting for Kolpak deals with County sides has not been one that fans would have wanted. But this deal makes a lot of sense as it gives Elgar a taste of the conditions in England ahead of their tour in the summer.