SOMERSET'S new signing Omari Banks arrived at the County Ground this week to prepare for the biggest challenge of his career so far - helping Somerset win the County Championship for the first time, writes Richard Walsh.

The 25-year-old West Indian all-rounder has joined the Cidermen on a two-year contract after impressing for Somerset 2nd XI in 2007.

Banks hails from the tiny island of Anguilla, which is a British protectorate and in view of this he holds a British passport, which means he is not classed as an overseas, Kolpak or English player.

He said: "I'm delighted to be back and am really looking forward to playing for the county this coming season.

"Somerset has got a fantastic history and lots of great players have played here including people like Sir Viv Richards who has been an inspiration to me in my cricket career so far.

"I know that the team was successful last year but I am looking forward to having a wonderful season with Somerset and helping them to be even more successful in the championship in 2008."

SOMERSET batsman James Hildreth scored 38 to help the England Lions (England A) to a three-wicket victory in the first of three one-day matches against Mumbai. Hildreth batted with Andrew Flintoff, who has joined the tour to regain fitness after an ankle injury.

SOMERSET are believed to be still keen on recruiting a player with Kolpak status.

With skipper Justin Langer not certain to return in time for the start of the season due to his involvment in the new Indian Premier League and South African Neil McKenzie joining Durham, the county are thought to be looking for a batsman.