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Somerset's West Indians: Part Two

With England currently touring the West Indies, we’ve been looking through our archives at some of the West Indian cricketers who have represented Somerset.

Here is part two:

HUGH GORE

Hugh Gore was born in St John’s Antigua in 1953. The fast-medium bowler played for the Leeward Islands for a number of years before being recommended to Somerset by Viv Richards. Due to his Test match commitments Somerset were looking for cover for Joel Garner ahead of the 1980 season, and Gore seemed to fit the bill.

However, he claimed 14 First Class wickets at an average of 47.78 in his 11 matches for the County. His final appearance for Somerset came against Warwickshire at Taunton in September 1980 and after that he never played First Class Cricket again.

NIXON McLEAN

Born in St Vincent in 1973, Nixon McLean went on to make his name with the Windward Islands. His performances there brought him to the attention the international selectors and he made his ODI debut for the West Indies against Australia in Melbourne in 1996. He became a regular member of the one-day set up until 2001. His performances for KwaZulu Natal at the end of 2002 saw him earn a recall to the West Indies squad for the 2003 World Cup. He played a total of 45 ODIs, claiming 46 wickets at an average of 37.58. He also featured in 19 Test matches in which he took 44 wickets at an average of 42.56.

He got his first taste of English County Cricket in 1998 when he signed for Hampshire, where he remained for two seasons.

Nixon signed for Somerset ahead of the 2003 season and made his debut in April of that year in a three-day match against Loughborough University Centre of Cricketing Excellence.

In the three seasons he spent at Somerset he was an important part of the Club’s one-day setup and also played in 33 First Class matches, claiming 120 wickets at an average of 29.22 with a best of six for 79.

OMARI BANKS

The son of musician Bankie Banx, Omari Banks began playing for the Leeward Islands in 2000 and as a 17-year-old he spent a few months at Leicestershire in 2001.

In 2003 he made history by becoming the first player from the island of Anguilla to play Test cricket for the West Indies. He went on to play a total of 10 Tests, claiming 28 wickets at an average 48.82 with a best of four for 87. He also has a Test match 50 to his name. Omari also represented the West Indies in five ODIs between 2003 and 2005, taking seven wickets at an average of 27.

Omari joined Somerset ahead of the 2008 season and spent two years in Taunton.

He officially retired from cricket in 2012 to concentrate on his successful music career.

KIERON POLLARD

The big-hitting Trinidadian all-rounder first made an impression for the West Indies in their Under 19 side in 2005 before representing Trinidad and Tobago in the Stanford T20 competition the following year.

In 2017 he marked his First Class debut by making 126 for Trinidad and Tobago against Barbados. Just three months later he made his ODI debut for the West Indies against South Africa at St George’s. Since then he has gone on to play a total of 101 ODIs and 59 IT20s.

Kieron signed for Somerset in time for the 2010 T20 campaign and certainly lived up to his reputation!

In 2010 he scored over 350 runs at an average of 32.18 with a top score of 89 not out and a strike rate of 175.24. He was equally as impressive with the ball, claiming 29 wickets at an average of 15.10. He was a key element behind Somerset’s progression to the final that year and had he not been injured after being struck in the face whilst batting in the final, his side could well have gone on to lift the trophy.

Kieron returned to Somerset for the 2011 T20 campaign and once again he didn’t disappoint. Somerset again reached the final only to fall at the last hurdle but the Trinidadian certainly kept the crowds entertained. He scored over 234 runs at an average of 39 with a strike rate of 162.50. He also claimed 12 wickets at 26.91.

CHRIS GAYLE

The Jamaican left-hander is undeniably one of the most exciting batsmen that the game has ever seen.

He averages 42.18 in Tests, 37.12 in ODIs and 33.47 in IT20s.

Chris was originally due to join Somerset as an overseas T20 player in 2012. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond the Club’s control, supporters had to wait until 2015 until he wore Somerset colours.

It was certainly worth the wait!

He featured in three T20 matches in 2015, scoring 328 runs with a high score of 151 not at and a strike rate of 192.94. In those three matches he smashed an incredible 22 fours and 29 sixes.

Chris returned to Taunton the following season for five matches. Although he failed to hit the heights of the previous year he still scored an impressive 177 runs at a strike rate of 166.98.

JEROME TAYLOR

The T20 World Cup Winning fast bowler made a huge impact for the County in last season’s Vitality Blast, taking 22 wickets in 11 matches at an average of just 16.64.

He also became only the third Somerset bowler to claim a five-wicket haul in T20 cricket when he took five for 15 against Hampshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Jerome has an outstanding record in T20 cricket and has taken 33 wickets in 30 matches for the West Indies at an average of 26.15 with a best of three for six.

He has also featured in 101 other T20 matches, taking a total of 126 wickets at an average of 23.42 with a best of five for 10.

For part one click here

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