Somerset sign Morkel to replace Van der Merwe for T20

Somerset have signed all-rounder Albie Morkel to replace Roelof van der Merwe for the side's Twenty20 campaign.

The 30-year-old South African has been brought in due to Somerset's concerns over Van der Merwe's eligibility for a work permit.

Morkel will be Somerset's second overseas player alongside Chris Gayle.

Director of cricket Brian Rose said: "Albie is an immensely gifted cricketer and especially exciting one-day player and fits in well with our T20 set-up."

Van der Merwe had been due to play for Somerset from 1 June, but Rose admitted this now looked doubtful.

He added: "As we went through the detailed paperwork process it became apparent that Roelof van der Merwe was highly unlikely to be granted a work permit due to current Home Office legislation, though the door remains open for him at Somerset if the situation can be resolved.

"In the event of Roelof being unable to gain Home Office clearance in time for this season, I will be actively looking for an overseas replacement for July, August and September."

Morkel, a left-handed batsman and right-handed medium-fast bowler, has hit 2,285 runs in 157 T20 games at 28.20, and taken 136 wickets at an average of 27.40.