Somerset move to keep Kieswetter
Somerset’s promising wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter has pledged his future to Somerset by signing a new three-year deal until 2012.
Kieswetter, 22, was born in Johannesburg and grew up in South Africa, but qualifies to play for England on residency grounds in February.
He topped 1,000 runs in the LV= County Championship for the first time in 2009, and was a constant threat at the top of the order in limited-overs cricket. He received his county cap this year.
Kieswetter said: "I am delighted to have signed a new three-year deal because I feel very passionate about the club and want to be involved at the County Ground.
"I love playing at Somerset and it's a fantastic place to be with all the tradition that there is about the place.
"The supporters and the whole environment at Somerset make it a place that I want to be involved with and I want to help to be part of creating something special.
"I am only 22 now, which is quite young to be capped, so I am very excited about what I can do to help to develop the club and move it forward to be one of the dominant forces in the country."
Kieswetter’s rich promise led to him being added to the England Performance Programme this winter, despite not yet being qualified for England, and spent the past few weeks in their training camp in Pretoria.
The former Millfield School pupil said: "I have had a hectic few weeks but it has all been pretty good for me. I will come back to Somerset feeling a lot more confident about my all round game and with some new ideas.
"I was really delighted to have been involved with the England Performance Programme and feel it has been really beneficial to all aspects of my game, including my skills base of batting and keeping, as well as lifestyle, diet and nutrition. The whole package has been a great learning experience for me."
Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose said: "Craig signing a new three-year deal is also another great sign of the way that the club has moved forward both on and off the field, spotting youngsters and developing them in the first team.
"Craig is part of the England Performance Programme squad and pressing for a place with England Lions.
"With the way that the market is at the moment, for him to put his faith in Somerset like he has means that he sees a strong management both on and off the field, which is great for the county."