The Nat West T20 Blast competition gets underway this weekend and to kick off Somerset have got a couple of hard opening matches.

On Friday evening they play their old rivals Gloucestershire in Bristol before returning to host Surrey at the County Ground on Sunday starting at 2.30pm.

Skipper Marcus Trescothick said: “Playing against Gloucestershire at Bristol is always a tough game, and one that you go into with great excitement knowing that there will be a big crowd.

“Of course there is always that little bit of extra excitement because this is our local derby.

“We have been pretty consistent in the T20 format of the game and we have got some good power-hitters in our squad.

“We have also got a nice balance with a few young guys coming through who are going to play their part and hopefully they can do their job when the time comes.”

Seasoned campaigner Alfonso Thomas, who is the second-highest wicket-taker in world T20 cricket, having claimed 235 scalps at 21.38, is also counting down to the first match.

He said: “The start of the Twenty20 season here with Somerset is always an exciting time of the year.

“It’s a format of the game that I really enjoy and over the years I have had a lot of success with it.

“We start with the big derby game on Friday at Bristol and then we have got Surrey on Sunday, so I am really up for it this weekend and two fantastic games.”

“The fans really do love Twenty20 here and wherever you go in Taunton, whether you are out for a meal, walking the dog or at the petrol station, everybody wants to know when the T20 starts.

“It is definitely a crowd- puller across the ages so I am sure that come Sunday it will be buzzing down here at the County Ground.”

Director of cricket Dave Nosworthy said: “It’s all about converting our game across from four-day cricket where we have performed well.

“It’s all systems go now although we haven’t quite finalised our thinking yet and there are still opportunities, but we are well on track.”

“I’m well aware that it is a local derby and the fans will be massive, but every game is as important as the next.

“It is never easy going to play at Bristol so we need to make sure that we are all up for it because they certainly will be because we beat them there last year a couple of times, so we need to be on our game and really hungry to get the result that we all want.”