SOMERSET supporters received a new year boost with the news that overseas signing Alviro Petersen will be extending his time at the Club in 2013 to include the FLt20, writes Richard Walsh.

Originally the South African opening batsman, who scored a century in the opening Test Match against New Zealand in Cape Town last week, was only available for the opening half of the Championship season, but his commitments will now allow him to be at the County Ground until the end of July.

Peterson said: “I am very pleased that I will now be able to stay on at Somerset and play for them in the Twenty20 competition.

“Over the years they have done well in the competition and I would like to think that my contributions will help them to lift the trophy.”

A delighted Marcus Trescothick said: “Alviro will be great asset to the team as we will have him for the first part of the season and now be able to keep that consistency going into the T20 campaign.”

“He has had good T20 success back in South Africa and a lot of experience playing on big occasions so he will play an important part in helping us to keep the consistency going forward.”

The captain added: “Alviro has played county cricket in England for both Glamorgan and Essex and is very much a three-dimensional cricketer because in addition to his batting he can bowl off-spin and he is a great fielder so brings a lot to the club.”

Head coach Andy Hurry was equally enthusiastic at the news and said: “This is great news for Somerset and having a top class performer like Alviro in our T20 squad will certainly boost our batting and bring a wealth of experience to the side.”

Meanwhile Craig Kieswetter warmed up for the opening ODI against India in Rajkot on Friday, which gets underway at 6.30am our time, with an unbeaten 41 off 27 balls, including two fours and three sixes.

Somerset members are reminded that Somerset County Cricket Club’s AGM is at the County Ground on Wednesday, January 23, at 7.30pm.