SOMERSET have two England One Day International wicket-keepers on the staff – Jos Buttler and Craig Kieswetter – and they want to hang on to them both, writes Richard Walsh.

Hardly a day has gone by recently without there being media speculation regarding the future of the ‘two keepers at Somerset’, so earlier this week Chief Executive Guy Lavender clarified the Club’s position.

He said “There has been a lot of speculation and coverage nationally about what may or may not happen.

“The reality is that Dave Nosworthy, our new Director of Cricket, is well aware of the situation and has been in correspondence with both players for a number of weeks.

“It is very important that we sit down face to face with both Jos and Craig but clearly there has not been an opportunity to do that yet.

“Dave will be in the UK from the middle of March and he will then be in a position to discuss their aspirations as well as consider what is best for Somerset.”

The chief executive emphasised that the club’s interests will come first.

“Our only priority is what is in the best long term interests of Somerset, not what is best for Team England but if those objectives happen to coincide then brilliant. “We of course recognise the importance of a successful England side to domestic cricket but the only thing driving our priorities in regard to this issue is what is in the best long term playing interests of Somerset County Cricket Club.

“We are very clear that we want to retain both players at the club and feel a great loyalty to both of them.

“They are incredible talents, they both went to school in Somerset and have got family and houses locally and we don’t want to see either of them leave, and that is the starting point for any discussion that we will have with them.”

n Former favourites Dennis Breakwell, Mike Burns, Peter Robinson and Rob Turner will be attending a ‘Past, Present and Future Players’ event on March 6.

It is being organised jointly by Somerset CCC and the Taunton Area Committee.

Tickets cost £15 which includes a two course hot fork buffet dinner and can be bought by calling 0845-337 1875.