SOMERSET batsman James Hildreth has signed for Taunton St Andrews Cricket Club this season- when he is not required by the county, writes Richard Walsh

The announcement that the 37 year old, who is in his 20th season with Somerset during which he has scored almost 28,000 runs in all formats and is in the final year of his contract, will join the Saints comes as a huge boost ahead of the start of the club’s campaign back in the top flight of the WEPL.

Hildreth, who travelled with the Somerset squad to Hampshire ahead of their championship opener that starts today said: “To be quite honest I hadn’t thought about it too much until talking with Richard Brice a couple of days ago he asked me if Id like to play for Taunton St Andrews.

“I'm not sure how this season is going to work out so as long as everything fits together then yes I'd be very pleased to play for them as and when I’m available. I’d like to play some local club cricket and Saints fit in well for my family

"Im looking at this as something that’s going to be an enjoyable experience to which I can bring my family along to. It would be nice to go and be involved with the Saints - I know a lot of them and they are a good bunch of lads."

Hildy added: "The last game I played in the WEPL was for Glastonbury back in about 2005 when I think I was run out by Richard Timms- a lot has happened since then."

Justin Burke the captain of Saints said: “We are delighted that Hildy has signed for us. Not only is he a legend of a cricketer but also he is a top bloke and he will fit in very well with the club and I can’t wait to have him in the side. There will be a lot of the younger players who will learn from him and benefit from the experience he brings with him.

Richard Brice the President of Taunton St Andrews and whose SCS cricket business is one of the clubs major sponsors has been involved with Hildreth over a number of years and was chairman of his testimonial committee back in 2017.

“Hildy is a top lad and will be a great acquisition for Taunton St Andrews- we look forward to seeing him playing at the Wyvern Club this season,” Brice said.