SOMERSET County Cricket Club captain Tom Abell has signed a new contract that will see him remain at the Cooper Associates County Ground through to the end of the 2021 season.

Abell, 23, made his First XI debut for Somerset against Warwickshire in 2014, and since then has scored more than 2,000 First-Class runs.

He was named captain of his county on December 21, 2016, and after a difficult start to his tenure - dropping himself from the squad to face Yorkshire after a lack of runs - he returned to form as the Cidermen staved off County Championship relegation on the last day.

This season Abell will lead Somerset in both the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup, with Lewis Gregory skippering the T20 side.

Abell said: "I’m absolutely delighted to have committed my future to Somerset; it’s amazing to have the opportunity to represent and lead the club.

"Taunton is the only place that I want to be playing and I hope that I can help the team to achieve the goals that we are all so desperate to achieve in the near future.

"The club, players, members and all the staff here are a pleasure to be around, and I’m excited for what is to come at the club with this group of players.

"I hope that we can repay some of the faith that the supporters have shown in us with some silverware.”

Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry commented: "It’s a great sign for the future that Tom has extended his commitment to the club.

"Having progressed through the Somerset age group system and the Somerset Academy, Tom has demonstrated that he is a player with huge potential and he is an integral part of the team both on and off the field.

"We are really pleased that one of the most exciting young batsman in the country has committed his future to the club."