Alviro Petersen will make Somerset his third county in as many seasons after signing a deal to play for them as their overseas player for the first part of the 2013 season.
Petersen will be available for Somerset until at least the start of the Friends Life t20 tournament, which is likely to be in mid-June.
South Africa’s international schedule next year is light, with no Test series planned for the English summer and only a limited-overs competition in Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in England other than that - neither of which Petersen, as a Test specialist, is certain to be a part of.
“I am very pleased to have signed to play for Somerset as their overseas player for the first part of next season," said Petersen.
"Somerset are a successful team in all forms of cricket and I look forward to becoming part of the setup at the County Ground, and hope that I can help them to win some trophies in 2013.”
Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender said: “We are delighted to have signed Alviro Petersen and he will play for us right the way through until the commencement of the FLt20 competition next summer, when he will depart to resume international cricket with South Africa.
“He is an exceptional player and has an impressive record as a batsman, which he demonstrated during this summer’s series against England, and we look forward to welcoming him to Taunton in the spring.”
Petersen’s first foray into the county game was in 2011 for Glamorgan - a club he was to leave in acrimonious circumstances. The county thought they had come to a verbal agreement with the batsmen that he would abandon his international career in order to become a Kolpak player the following season. However, he was recalled to the South African Test side and reneged on this “agreement”, joining Essex as an overseas player instead, much to the anger of the Welsh county.
Besides a century against, of all people, Glamorgan, he struggled for Essex, averaging less than 20 in all first-team cricket last season. Nonetheless, he averaged over 60 in South Africa’s subsequent 2-0 series victory over England and, with almost 10,000 first-class runs to his name, is clearly a player of great class.
His South African team-mate Vernon Philander was Somerset’s overseas player in the first part of 2012 and he will also follow in the footsteps of countrymen Albie Morkel and Richard Levi as South Africans to have represented Somerset in recent timed when he steps onto the field for them next April.
Somerset’s overseas player for the latter part of 2012 was Pakistani left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, who they had been rumoured to want to re-sign for 2013, but he has since been banned for recreational drug use.
© Cricket World 2012
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