Somerset confirm departure of Jos Buttler as Lancashire lie in wait
Somerset have confirmed that England one-day international batsman and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler will be leaving the county this winter.
The 23-year-old’s future has been the source of much debate for some time, with rumours of a switch to Lancashire imminent. That move now seems likely, with the England man citing the need for more time behind the stumps for his decision to leave Taunton.
“I am very sad to be leaving Somerset but feel it is a decision I must take in order to develop my expertise as a wicketkeeper,” he said.
“I am immensely grateful for all the help and support that everyone at Somerset has given me which has shaped the player and person I am today. I would like to wish the club the best of luck for the future.”
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Buttler’s exit has not gone down well within the corridors of power at the County Ground, with chief executive Guy Lavender expressing the county’s disappointment at the decision in a statement.
“Somerset County Cricket Club is very disappointed to announce that Jos Buttler has decided to leave the club at the end of this season. This has been an immensely difficult decision for him, and he departs with our very best wishes,” it read.
Lavender added: “Both Jos and the club have worked extremely hard over the last few months to find a solution, which satisfies Jos’s understandable desire to have more time behind the stumps in order to advance his international career,” he said. “I would like to make it clear that he has behaved impeccably during this difficult process.
“However the club, on a matter of principle and pragmatism, feels unable to offer a guarantee to Jos – or any other player – of selection in their preferred role. Such a situation would be unfair on team-mates as well as those selecting the side.
“We thank Jos for all he has done for the club and wish him well in the future.”
Buttler has been competing with Somerset team-mate Craig Kieswetter for a regular spot behind the stumps in international limited-overs cricket.
Although Taunton-born Buttler is ahead of the South Africa-born 25-year-old in England’s pecking order, he has been largely used solely as a batsman by Somerset this season.
If Buttler does go to Lancashire, the highly-rated 23-year-old would be the first-choice wicketkeeper with the Red Rose county, after it was announced Gareth Cross would not be offered a new deal at Old Trafford.