Somerset set to sign Vijay, Northants swoop for Roach

Pakistan

Somerset are hoping to complete the signing of Murali Vijay for the final few weeks of the county season.

Somerset are chasing the first Championship title in their history. They are currently second in the Division One table, just two points behind Essex, with the teams scheduled to meet in the final game of the season.

The deal is expected to have been agreed between the club and the player, with Vijay awaiting approval from his state association, Tamil Nadu, before it can be confirmed. If it is, it is anticipated he will be available for the final three Championship matches of the season.

Vijay played three Championship matches for Essex at the end of the 2018 season. He made three 50s and one hundred in his five innings and averaged 64.59.

He started the same summer as India’s first-choice opener, but averaged just 6.50 in the two Tests he played and was soon left out. He won his place back for the tour of Australia last winter, but was dropped after the Perth Test and has not been picked since, missing out on selection for the ongoing tour of the West Indies.

Somerset’s previous overseas players, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam, have been recalled to Pakistan in September.

Northamptonshire are also hoping to strengthen their promotion hopes with a late-season signing. Currently third in Division Two – the top three are promoted – they are aiming to bring in West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach for the final few games of the campaign.

That could mean he plays against his West Indies new-ball colleague, Shannon Gabriel, in the last week of the season.

Gloucestershire, who are currently second in Division Two, host Northants in the final match of their campaign.

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