Somerset sign Jayawardene for T20 Blast


English county side Somerset have pulled off a major coup with the signing of former Sri Lanka international batsman Mahela Jayawardene as an overseas player for the T20 Blast.

The 38-year-old Jayawardene, who retired from international cricket after last year's World Cup, had played 149 Tests, 448 ODIs and 55 T20Is for his country and helped them win the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh.

The Taunton-based team will be a major threat in the T20 competition as Jayawardene will be joined in the batting order by big-hitting West Indies opener Chris Gayle.

Somerset's Director of Cricket, Matt Maynard, said: "Mahela is a batsman of undoubted class who scores his runs all around the wicket. When a player of his experience and class becomes available, you have to snap them up.

"He is an experienced international captain and the squad will certainly benefit from having him around the dressing room.

"He is a true professional and will have a major influence both on and off the field for us during the NatWest T20 Blast campaign."

The stylish Jayawardene will be available for 12 of Somerset's 14 T20 matches this season.