Jos Buttler: Lancashire target confirms Somerset departure

Somerset have confirmed wicketkeeper Jos Buttler is to leave Taunton.

Buttler, who had been a serious target for Warwickshire, is now tipped to join newly-promoted Lancashire.

The 23-year-old England one-day regular has kept wicket in just three of his nine Championship games for Somerset this summer, rival Craig Kieswetter having been preferred instead.

I am very sad to be leaving. But I feel it is a decision I must take in order to develop my expertise as a wicketkeeper

Jos Buttler

But a move could improve his chances of providing competition for first-choice England Test keeper Matt Prior.

"We 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," said Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender.

"I would like to make it clear that Jos 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."

BBC Radio Lancashire reported earlier this week that Buttler, who has played 19 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 matches for England, was bound for Old Trafford.

Buttler v Kieswetter

  • Jos Buttler's only three appearances behind the timbers for Somerset in Championship matches this summer came early in the season when Craig Kieswetter was out injured with a broken thumb. In all the other matches they have played together, Buttler has been used a batsman only, hitting 495 runs in eight Championship matches at 38.07

A move to the north west of England would see him become Lancashire's first-choice keeper, with teenager Alex Davies in reserve, following this week's decision to allow Gareth Cross, 29, to leave at the end of his current deal.

Having been England's regular white-ball keeper for most of 2013, after a series of impressive displays in the one-day series against Australia, Buttler missed out to Jonny Bairstow for the place of reserve keeper to Prior on this winter's Ashes tour. But he could still be called on down under, having been named in the England performance programme squad.

"I am very sad to be leaving Somerset," said Taunton-born Buttler. "But I feel it is a decision I must take in order to develop my expertise as a wicketkeeper.

"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."

Kieswetter is contracted with Somerset until the end of the 2014 season.