Somerset's Greatest XI: Seamers

Since Somerset County Cricket Club’s inception in 1875, some of the greatest cricketers ever to have graced the field have represented the County.

However, the eternal question is: who would make it into Somerset’s greatest ever county championship team?

We are now giving you the chance to answer that question.

Over the few weeks, we have given you the opportunity to help select the Club’s greatest ever red-ball XI.

We have compiled a shortlist which will enable you to select our best ever openers, middle order, wicketkeeper, seamers and spinner.

Today we give you the chance to pick the seamers.

Simply select one player from the list provided, and the one who receives the most votes will be selected.

We will announce the team in full on Christmas Eve.


Ken Palmer

He may not have been born in Taunton, but Ken Palmer has certainly made it his home since he first travelled west from Devizes, although he was born at Winchester in Hampshire where he initially went for a trial.

However, it wasn’t to be and instead the highly talented youngster was signed on after he impressed Harry Parks who was the Somerset coach back in 1954.

Palmer played his early cricket for the Somerset Dragons and the Second XI whilst at the same time working at the ground sweeping up the stands and picking up the mown grass.

Palmer made his First XI debut against Middlesex at Bath in 1955 and gradually became established in the line up.

In 1961, at the age of 24, he became Somerset’s first player since the Second World War to achieve the double of 1,000 First Class runs and 100 wickets in a season. That summer he played in 32 three-day County Championship matches in which he bowled 965 overs, 248 of which were maidens, and took 114 wickets at an average of 20.32, which included seven games in which he had five or more wicket hauls.

Between 1955 and 1969 Palmer appeared in 302 First Class games for Somerset in which he took 837 wickets at a cost of 21.11 each. His best bowling figures were nine for 57 at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire in 1963.

Arthur Wellard

Although he didn’t make his debut until he was 25, Arthur Wellard enjoyed a long career with the County, playing between 1927 and 1950.

After a two year qualifying period, during which time he worked as cricket professional for Weston-super-Mare CC, Arthur Wellard took 131 wickets in his first season in 1929. He also claimed 10 wickets in a match for the first time during his fourth County Championship appearance against his native Kent, with figures of six for 108 and four for 28.

From then on he remained a regular member of the Somerset side.

Between 1927 and 1950 Arthur Wellard played in 391 matches for Somerset in which he took 1517 wickets at an average of 24.32 and enjoyed his career best eight for 52 against Worcestershire at Bath in 1947, when he was 45 years old!

He is the second highest wicket-taker for Somerset, behind Jack White. He also claimed five or more wickets in an innings on 105 occasions, again second behind White, and second also in the 10-wicket hauls with 24 behind White’s 57.

In 1936 Arthur Wellard was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

In 1938 he took 169 wickets for Somerset, the most by any player in a season, and in 1946 at the age of 44 he became the oldest player to claim 100 wickets in a season for the County.

Arthur achieved the double (1000 runs and 100 wickets) twice, in both 1933 and 1935.

Arthur played in two Test Matches, once against New Zealand in 1937 and then against Australia the next summer.

Fred Rumsey

Fred Rumsey was a genuine left-arm fast bowler and in his all too short stay at Taunton he took over 500 First Class wickets at less than 20 runs each.

Fred was 28 years old when he arrived in Taunton in 1963 on a special registration from Worcestershire. Fred was an instant success and in his first season he claimed 102 wickets at 19.50 from the almost 800 overs he sent down.

Fred enjoyed his best season in 1965  when he took 102 First Class wickets for Somerset including a career best eight for 26 against Hampshire at Bath.

His final season was in 1968 when he played in all 27 of the Championship matches and topped the Somerset bowling averages, taking 72 wickets at a cost of 24.05 runs each.  At the end of that year Fred packed his bags and headed for a new post at Derbyshire where he was their public relations officer and also played in a few one-day games.

Between 1963 and 1968 Rumsey played in 153 First Class matches for Somerset in which he took 520 wickets at an average of 19.78, with a best of eight for 26.

Hallam Moseley

Hallam Moseley was born in Barbados in May 1948 and initially had a trial with Somerset in 1968. The following year Somerset were looking for a replacement for Ken Palmer and Fred Rumsey, so when the 21-year-old Moseley toured England with a Barbados XI, he was eventually signed.

After completing a qualifying period, during which he played for Lansdown Cricket Club, he made his Somerset debut in 1971. He took 34 Championship wickets that year at an average of 24.94.

A trademark smile, underarm returns from the boundary and occasional big hitting exploits made him a great favourite with the Somerset fans.

Between 1971 and 82 he played played in 205 First Class games for Somerset, claiming 547 wickets at an average of 24.10, with a best of six for 34 against Derbyshire at Bath in 1975.

Joel Garner

The Barbadian was 25 years old by the time he arrived to play for Somerset via Littleborough CC in the Lancashire League. He made a big impact on his debut against Australia at Bath in 1977 when he took a wicket in his first over to help his newly adopted county to a historic victory. Thus began an incredibly successful 10-year association with the County.

In 1979 he was almost unplayable as Somerset lifted the Gillette Cup and John Player League trophies within days of each other. He was also outstanding in First Class Cricket that year, claiming 55 wickets at an average of just 13.83.

In 1981 he again topped the bowling averages with 88 wickets at 15.23.

In his 94 First Class matches for Somerset he took 338 wickets at an average 18.10 with a best of eight for 31. He claimed no fewer than 22 First Class five-wicket hauls and claimed ten wickets on five occasions.

Andy Caddick

Andy Caddick was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1968.

The young bowler modelled his action on Richard Hadlee and appeared for New Zealand Young Cricketers and for the New Zealand Under 19s, but a lack of opportunities in his homeland saw him move to England.

in 1988 and 1989, he played a handful of games for the Middlesex Second XI. He made his debut for Somerset Second XI in June 1989 and took eight for 46.

Jimmy Cook was the Club’s overseas player which limited Andy’s opportunities whilst he served his qualifying period, but he made his First Class debut in 1991.

His breakthrough season came in 1992 as he claimed 71 wickets at an average of 27.01. The following season saw him claim his career best of nine for 32 against Lancashire. His form for Somerset saw him called up by England for the Ashes series in 1993.

Injury hampered his progress in 1994 and 1995, but by 1996 he was back to his very best.

He played for Somerset until 2009, featuring in 191 First Class matches. In total, he claimed 875 wickets for Somerset at an average of 25.8. He took 10 wickets in a match on 16 occasions.



Last week we asked you select Somerset’s greatest spinner.

You selected Jack White.

Don’t miss out on the chance to have your say on who are the best Somerset players of all time!


Back to News

Next MatchMiddlesex V Somerset

01/07/2022 18:15 - Lord's