A SOMERSET county cricketer was held at gunpoint during a restaurant robbery.

South African fast bowler Charl Willoughby was robbed of his mobile phone and locked in a walk-in freezer before being freed by a restaurant worker.

The incident happened near Johannesburg where Mr Willoughby, 32, was playing provincial cricket with the Cape Cobras team.

Seven team-mates were also robbed and one was hit with a gun.

Somerset County Cricket Club's chief executive Richard Gould said: "Charl called last week and told us what had happened.

"He lost all of his contacts and so he's having to get everybody's numbers again but he's all fine and he's not adversely affected at all. He's still in good spirits."

Mr Gould said Mr Willoughby's Somerset team-mates had been told about the incident.

He added: "They're all glad he's ok.

"He continues to play cricket in South Africa and he's looking forward to coming back to Somerset for the new season.

"We are looking forward to having him back in a friendlier environment!"

According to the Cape Times newspaper, the Cobras were robbed at a popular chain restaurant, Nando's, near to their Johannesburg hotel following a match.

The players were given trauma counselling the following day and Mr Willoughby told cricket website Cricinfo he feared he would never see his family again.

A left-arm seamer, Mr Willoughby joined Somerset last season and took an impressive 66 wickets.

He is due to report back for Somerset duty in late March or early April.