Brian Rose to step down at end of campaign
Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose has announced he is stepping down from his role at the end of this season.
Rose took up the post in June 2005, when the team were struggling in all formats of the game, but during his eight seasons in charge the Cidermen have become a potent force.
They won promotion back to the top flight of the County Championship in 2007 and just missed out on winning the competition they have never won in 2010 by the narrowest of margins, when they had to settle for runners-up spot because they had won a game less than Nottinghamshire.
Somerset lifted the Twenty20 Cup in 2005, and since then have managed to reach five one-day finals, but ended on the losing side on every occasion.
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In making the announcement, club chairman Andy Nash said: "Brian has uniquely served the club with great distinction as a player, captain and latterly as the director of cricket.
"He remains the club's most successful captain, winning five trophies, and since 2004 has transformed the performance of the first team, taking them from the bottom of the Second Division to one of the most consistent and competitive sides in all three competitions."
Nash added: "We are delighted that he has offered to provide ongoing advice next year which will allow us to draw on his immense knowledge and understanding of the game. This decision provides the club with the opportunity to take stock and ensure we are effectively positioned for the 2013 season."
Between 1979 and 1983, Rose led Somerset to five one-day trophies, their first silverware, and he played in nine Test matches between 1977 and 1981.
After retiring in 1987, he went into business but, when the Cidermen needed someone to take charge of cricket matters at the club, they turned to their former skipper to resurrect their fortunes. He duly delivered in his first season when the team won the Twenty20 Cup under the captaincy of Graeme Smith.
Rose was instrumental in obtaining the services of former Australia Test batsman Justin Langer to play for the side in 2006, before his return to take over as skipper with considerable success the following season, when the team gained promotion back to Division One of the Championship. Langer left the club in 2009, since when Marcus Trescothick has been captain.
Rose said: "I have had immense pride in overseeing the development of Somerset cricket over the last eight seasons as director of cricket. Our progress in that time from the age groups through to the first team has been outstanding with teams competing at the highest levels across the board."
He added: "After the [Twenty20] result at the SWALEC stadium and another defeat on Finals Day, I have come to the conclusion that a new and fresh approach is needed at first-team level.
"I will continue to try and assist the club in meeting its core objective of winning trophies."
England will today bid to clinch the NatWest Series against South Africa, without the assistance of two of their steadiest hands.
Andy Flower's absence in Nottingham is understood to be in no way connected to the ongoing Kevin Pietersen saga, or the prodigal batsman's timetable of negotiations with his employers to determine whether there is any way back into the England fold.
Rather than conducting another face-to-face meeting with Pietersen – the England and Wales Cricket Board has yet to confirm that an initial one, reportedly last Saturday, did take place – the coach is taking a much-needed short break with his family.
While Flower reacquaints himself with his nearest and dearest, before three Twenty20s against South Africa and then England's defence of their world ICC crown in Sri Lanka this month, his duties in practice and on match day fall to fielding coach Richard Halsall.
It is less clear who will deputise for Jonathan Trott at number three in today's day-night fixture.
Jonny Bairstow is the obvious candidate to replace Trott, officially ruled out of contention after taking no part in England practice yesterday afternoon because of the hand injury he suffered in Sunday's victory at Lord's.
The young Yorkshireman is likely to bat lower down the order, though, meaning the out-of-form Ravi Bopara may be pushed up to three.
Somerset's Craig Kieswetter can probably expect to stay at six, the position to which he has become accustomed since Pietersen, and more recently Bell, took on the responsibility of partnering captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order.