Cameron Bancroft joins Somerset for early season County Championship stint

Cameron Bancroft gave Western Australia a solid start Getty Images

Cameron Bancroft will join Somerset for the early stages of the County Championship season, five years after his move to the county was scrapped over his involvement in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

Bancroft was due to be Somerset's overseas player in 2018 but had his contract terminated weeks before the start of the season, and was replaced by his compatriot Matt Renshaw.

But he has now signed a deal that will see him play the first four Championship games of the season, filling in as the club's second overseas player - alongside Peter Siddle - before Matt Henry's arrival in May.

Somerset have injury concerns over their captain Tom Abell (side) and Tom Banton (finger) heading into the new season. Bancroft, the leading run-scorer as Western Australia won the Sheffield Shield last week, will act as cover.

"We are pleased to have secured a player of Cameron's quality for the opening matches of the campaign," Andy Hurry, Somerset's director of cricket, said. "With Matt Henry joining us later in the season we were keen to secure the services of a proven player for the opening four fixtures.

"With a couple of our batters currently recovering from injury, we saw this as an opportunity to solidify our batting line up at a time of the year when runs will be at a premium.

"During his recent spells within county cricket he has proved himself to be extremely proficient in English conditions and we are looking forward to adding his quality to our dressing room for those initial Championship matches."

Bancroft will hope that a strong start to the season puts him in contention for a Test recall, having most recently represented Australia during the 2019 Ashes.

He has previously played county cricket for Durham and Gloucestershire. It is understood he was also in talks with Yorkshire over a potential stint early this season, but opted for Somerset instead.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the time that I've spent playing in England, and I'm excited to be heading back there with Somerset, Bancroft said. "They are an outstanding club who are looking to challenge in all formats again this year.

"I hope that I can help contribute to Somerset making a good start to the season in their pursuit of their County Championship goal. It would mean a huge amount to me to play a part in the 2023 team making history."