SOMERSET club captain, Tom Abell has taken the decision to step down from the role with immediate effect.

The 29-year-old was awarded the captaincy ahead of the 2017 season and led the club to victory in the 2019 Royal London Cup as well as taking Somerset to Vitality Blast Finals Day in 2022.

Under his leadership, Somerset finished as runners-up in the County Championship in 2018 and 2019 and reached the final of the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020. Abell explained it was not a decision he has taken lightly.

“I’m stepping down with a heavy heart,” he explained. “As a Somerset boy it’s been a massive privilege to captain the club and the experience has been incredible.

"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.

“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!

“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.”

Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry said: "Tom has captained Somerset County Cricket Club with distinction over the last seven seasons.

“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.

“During his time at the helm, Somerset have excelled in all three formats of the game and challenged for and won silverware. Tom now feels the time is right for someone else to take on the mantle and we are already working through that process to identify a successor to build on Tom’s legacy. 

“Tom has a huge role to play in the future of the club, and what’s important now is that we continue to support Tom to grow even more as a player and enable him to focus on his performances so that he can reach even greater heights within the game.

“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.”