NSW Blues off-spinner Will Somerville has signed with the Auckland Aces in a bid to win selection for the New Zealand national team.
Born in Wellington, Somerville made his First-Class debut in Otago before moving to Sydney.
The affable 33-year-old has been a member of the NSW squad in recent seasons as a reserve spinner behind Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe, first playing for the Blues during 2014-15.
Two summers ago, he was the Blues’ leading first class wicket-taker with 35 wickets from seven games but last season he managed just one match behind Nathan Lyon and Steven O’Keefe.
In 12 Sheffield games across four seasons Somerville claimed 48 wickets at an average of 25.29.
Released from the second year of his current Blues contract, Somerville thanked the staff at Cricket NSW for their help and support.
“I appreciate being allowed the opportunity to pursue my professional career in New Zealand,” he said.
“It has been a tough decision, but one I hope will be best for me personally and of course my family.
“Everyone in the Blues has been great to me as a cricketer and more importantly as a colleague and friend. I shall miss them, but leave with very fond memories. It has been a life changing few years for me.”
Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones thanked Somerville for his contribution to the Blues and wished him well in New Zealand.
“We would love to have kept Will at NSW, as he is a terrific cricketer and even better bloke,” Mr Jones said.
“He proved himself an outstanding first-class spinner every time he had an opportunity with the Blues.
“However, we want all our players to achieve their potential in the game hence we fully support Will’s effort to play at the next level.
“We will all be very proud if and when Will makes his debut for New Zealand.”