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On Kolpaks
I know we are not keen on Kolpaks on this board, a view that I would in general share. An overseas-player-by-any-other-name has to be either really good or else not occupying a space that a home grown player might occupy. I would argue that, sometimes, a Kolpak would be justified if he fills a gap in the squad that nobody else can cover. This coming season, we have an obvious gap for someone who can bat at number seven and bowl his share of tight overs.

That being so, the news that Vernon Philander will be going Kolpak at the end of this Test series and will play for Somerset this season feels like a slap in the face. Not only would he fit perfectly with what we need but Somerset just don't need him. They have more decent seam bowlers than I can count (any of whom would get into our first choice XI even if Stone and Woakes were available). They also have Lewis Gregory to bat at seven, Craig Overton for eight and so on. Philander is an unnecessary luxury for them and so a bad use of the Kolpak system.

Perhaps on the every cloud has a silver lining principle, one or more of the other Somerset seamers will be looking to move. Inquiring about a loan of Josh Davey might not be a bad idea.
I think Josh Davey is a good bowler but may well be the one to be squeezed out because of the arrival of Philander.  Paul Farbrace has said that there will be no additions to the squad but you never know.  If there were to be a repeat of last year's injury crisis, he would have to look to bring players in. 
On the other hand, if everyone stays fit, there could be an embarrassment of seam bowlers, as in:
  • Henry Brookes
  • Ethan Brookes
  • George Garrett
  • Olly Stone
  • Ryan Sidebottom
  • Chris Woakes
  • Liam Norwell
  • Craig Miles
  • Oliver Hannon-Dalby
Views on here are my own; but you can keep up-to-date with County Cricket at

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