Experienced seamer Alfonso Thomas will be released by Somerset at the end of the season.
The 38-year-old South African, a former Somerset skipper, has taken 556 wickets since arriving at Taunton ahead of the 2008 season.
Having initially impressed for the second XI, Thomas soon became an integral player for Somerset in all formats.
He won the club’s player of the year award in 2010, when he took more than 100 wickets, and 2014, when he became the first bowler in Somerset’s history to take four wickets in four balls in a LV= County Championship match.
In total, Thomas scored 1,852 runs and took 306 wickets in 91 first-class matches while also snaring 250 scalps in 175 limited-overs games.
Making a name for himself as a specialist death bowler in one-day cricket, Thomas won sprint-format tournaments in South Africa, Australia and Bangladesh, and played one Twenty20 international for the Proteas.
Director of cricket Matthew Maynard said: “Alfonso has proved himself to be one of the best bowlers in one-day cricket; particularly in high pressure situations where he has proved himself to be world-class time and time again.
“Alfonso’s contribution to Somerset has been immense over many years and I am sure I can speak for all Somerset supporters in extending their thanks and best wishes to Alfonso and his family for the future.”
Overwhelmed by all the msgs of well wishes! Thnx to SCCC for giving me a great opportunity and the privilege of playing there for 8yrs!
— Alfonso Thomas (@alfonsothomas) September 22, 2015
Thomas’ appearances were limited this term after he missed the start of the season with a broken ankle sustained playing golf in the winter.
While working his way back to full fitness, he enjoyed a short-term coaching spell with Delhi Daredevils, an avenue he may pursue in the future.
Thomas, the fourth highest T20 wicket-taker in the world, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my career at Somerset and extend huge thanks to Brian Rose who believed in me some years ago and asked me to join the club. I wish my team-mates and club all the best for the future.
“It’s been great fun but like all good things they eventually come to an end. I am intending to remain in cricket, either continuing to play or by making the transition into coaching – it was a great privilege to be asked by Gary Kirsten to work with his bowlers during the IPL in India this year that I really enjoyed.
“I plan to take a few weeks over the off-season to consider several alternative options before deciding exactly which path to take. I hope that at some point in the future I will get the opportunity to be involved in the club in some capacity.
“I’ve had fantastic support from the supporters over the years and would like them to know that it has always been greatly appreciated.”
All that have watched Somerset over the last decade have witnessed pure class… Thanks for the memories “the great Alfonso” @alfonsothomas
— Peter Trego (@tregs140) September 21, 2015
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