Somerset will announce the departure of batsman Adam Hose this week, who has signed a lucrative multi-year deal with Warwickshire.
The 24-year-old’s emergence had been one of the few positives in a dismal season so far for the West Country strugglers, who sit second-bottom in Division One of the County Championship and have just two wins in six T20 Blast games.
But amid rumours of behind-the-scenes problems in the Taunton dressing room, the lure of a big-money contract at a Test Match ground has proved too much for Hose.
The top-order batsman scored his maiden ton for the county in May, making a 93-ball 101 not out against Gloucestershire. It was part of a splendid white-ball run for Hose this season, who scored 330 runs at 55 in Somerset’s One Day Cup campaign, and recently single-handedly won a game at Uxbridge with a 28-ball 59.
He had also just broken into the Championship side, and the signs were good after two well-crafted fifties in his first six innings.
This all came after a solid set of performances in white-ball cricket in 2016 were enough to earn him a one-year contract extension last October.
Warwickshire will be delighted with their new signing, having lost batsmen Ian Westwood (retired), Laurie Evans (Sussex), and Varun Chopra (Essex) in the past year. The departure of Rikki Clarke to Surrey, announced on Wednesday afternoon, meant that another player capable of scoring 1000 runs in a Championship season was necessary.
The side have really struggled for runs this year, with Jonathan Trott the only recognised batsman to have gone past the 300 mark in this season’s County Championship.
Hose’s departure should ring some overdue alarm bells for Somerset. After last year’s semi-final appearance in the 50-over competition and late surge to narrowly miss out on the County Championship pennant, it seemed as though all was well at the club.
But this year has been one of discontent, and it seems as though Hose will be the first of many players to depart this winter.
LWOS Cricket’s sources indicate that the club’s financial position is not as strong as previously believed, and that a change in CEO this winter will coincide with a major squad turnover.
It is expected that Jim Allenby, Peter Trego, Johann Myburgh and Roelof van der Merwe will all leave the club, with Allenby likely to return to his former county Glamorgan.
However, despite the discontent of fans, coach Matt Maynard is expected to stay on despite rumours of an unhappy dressing room.
For some fans, this move is further demonstration of the increased monopolisation of the county game by the bigger, wealthier clubs.
Last season, Somerset were the only county in Division One not to play at a Test Match venue, and the snapping up of talents at less fashionable counties has become an increasing issue, as this move – coupled with Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s mid-season switch from Worcestershire to Yorkshire – demonstrates.