TOM Abell has confirmed that he will step down from the role of club captain at Somerset County Cricket Club with immediate effect.

Abell has said he hasn't taken the decision lightly citing the time he spent as captain as an honour, but he said he needs to focus on his cricket performances at this time.

“I’m stepping down with a heavy heart, as a Somerset boy it’s been a massive privilege to captain the Club and the experience has been incredible," he said.

"It’s not been an easy decision, but I’ve thought about it a lot and I believe that it is in the best interests of the team and the Club. Sometimes change can be a good thing and I think that now is the right time. My decision is entirely based on what I feel is best for us moving forward.

“I didn’t have a great season in 2023 and it can be tough to lead when you’re not necessarily content with your own performance. This will give me the opportunity to get back to where I need to be, which is contributing to Somerset winning games of cricket.”

Abell added that the last seven seasons has been filled with good memories as captain.

“During the last seven seasons there have been some great times and some tough times. I’m so grateful for the support that I’ve received, and Andy Hurry and Jason Kerr have been tremendous allies.

"I’ve had a tremendous support network behind me, especially my family, and I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of some great teams with some great players, who have helped to keep me in the job for so long!"

The 29-year-old was awarded the captaincy ahead of the 2017 season and Somerset director of cricket, Andy Hurry has commended Tom for taking this tough decision.

“Tom has captained Somerset County Cricket Club with distinction over the last seven seasons,” he said. “Everyone connected with Somerset will agree that he has been an absolute credit to the Club both on and off the field. His conduct, commitment, leadership and dedication have been exemplary during his time in the role, and he has written himself into the history of the Club forever."

He added: "On behalf of all the players, both domestically and from overseas, all the staff and everyone connected to the Club, I would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank Tom for driving the Club continually forward and for his total commitment to the cause.

"I would also like to share with him how grateful we all are for the sacrifices and unselfish acts that he has undertaken to lead and support our needs. We will all be forever grateful.”