Corey Anderson, the New Zealand middle-order batsman, has re-signed for Somerset for this summer’s Vitality Blast.
Anderson, who will join Babar Azam as the club’s second overseas signing in T20 cricket, was the fifth-highest run-scorer in the competition in 2018, scoring 514 runs at a strike rate of 169.07 as Somerset reached Finals Day. He also appeared for the county in 2017, though had his stint cut short by injury.
He last played international cricket in November 2018, with persistent injuries effectively ruling him out of the 2019 World Cup, and is a beneficiary of visa regulation changes pushed for by the ECB in order to ensure the world’s best players would be eligible to play in the Hundred.
Previously, players needed to have played at least one Test or 15 white-ball internationals for a full-member country in the past 24 months to qualify for a ‘governing body endorsement’, but the ECB successfully had that criterion extended to those who had played at least 20 domestic T20 fixtures in recognised leagues in that time period, in order to ensure that players like Sunil Narine and Sandeep Lamichhane would be eligible for Hundred deals. That qualification extends to all domestic competitions, which means that Anderson will meet the new regulations.
Anderson will form part of an imperious batting line-up that also includes Babar, Tom Banton, Tom Abell and Lewis Gregory, and will be available for all 14 group games and a potential quarter-final.
Andy Hurry, the club’s director of cricket, said: “Corey has made a big impression both on and off the field for the club in his two previous stints with us. He was one of the first names mentioned when it came to considering our overseas players for next season because he is one of the best T20 players in the world and he was extremely popular with the playing staff and also with our members and supporters.
“His contributions in 2018 were absolutely outstanding and he was one of the main reasons that we reached Finals Day that year.”
“I’m looking forward to playing for Somerset again next summer,” Anderson said. “The club has a great squad and the atmosphere in the dressing room is one of the best I’ve experienced.
“The supporters are very knowledgeable and get right behind the team. It’s a great place to play cricket and hopefully I can help the Club go one better than we did in 2018 and make the Vitality Blast final.”