Snell gets Champions League nod
Former Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Steve Snell is a surprise call-up to Somerset’s 15-man squad for their Champions League Twenty20 qualifying campaign in Hyderabad.
Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler have both been named in England’s two-match NatWest International Twenty20 series against West Indies next week and will therefore miss Somerset’s two qualifying matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Somerset went through a similar scenario at the end of August when the duo were both in the Twenty20 squad to face India and called up Snell for the final Clydesdale Bank 40 group match against Essex - which they needed to win to qualify for the semi-finals.
The 28-year-old struck an unbeaten 18 and took two catches in a 40-run win, and he also played in the following LV= County Championship Division One match against Hampshire.
There was a feeling that Alex Barrow might be asked to stand behind the stumps but Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose believed they needed a specialist wicketkeeper in the qualifying event from where three teams will join the main Champions League tournament.
Rose said: "I think we might have been made to look ridiculous had we not taken a specialist keeper.
"Alex Barrow could have done it at a pinch, but it wouldn't have been fair on him. Steve Snell did a good job for us in the CB40 game with Essex and on the opening day of the championship game with Hampshire so he was the obvious choice."
George Dockrell is also unavailable for the qualifying games because of international duty with Ireland, but like Kieswetter and Buttler, he will be able to join the Somerset squad if they progress to the second phase of the Champions League.
Snell, Lewis Gregory and Max Waller would drop out from the original squad should the international players be needed.
Meanwhile, Gemaal Hussain is still in the process of obtaining a visa to play in India and if it does not come through, Chris Jones will go in his place.
Somerset head into the qualifiers on the back of a congested schedule, which sees them flying to India on Sunday evening having played the CB40 final against Surrey at Lord's on Saturday.
They will arrive in Hyderabad less than 24 hours before their opening match against Auckland on September 20 before coming up against Kolkata Knight Riders a day later.
Somerset squad: Alfonso Thomas (captain), Steve Snell (wicketkeeper), Alex Barrow, Nick Compton, Adam Dibble, James Hildreth, Gemaal Hussain, Murali Kartik, Steve Kirby, Craig Meschede, Arul Suppiah, Peter Trego, Roelof van der Merwe, Lewis Gregory, Max Waller.