Ajantha signs with Somerset

Somerset have signed Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis for the first few weeks of the County Championship season. The off-spinner, 25, will act as cover for fellow spinner Murali Kartik while he is at the Indian Premier League.

Mendis has played in 15 Tests and 46 one-day internationals for Sri Lanka, taking 107 wickets in the process. Somerset have also confirmed that West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard, 23, will return for the second half of the club's Twenty20 campaign this summer.

Mendis will join up with Somerset ahead of the start of their Championship campaign at home to Warwickshire on 14 April. Somerset's director of cricket Brian Rose told the club's website: "We have said we would only bring in a top class performer as a replacement for Kartik if we could get one and feel that Mendis fits into that category so we are absolutely delighted about it."

Kartik was a revelation in his first season at the County Ground, taking 78 wickets in total last summer, and the addition of Mendis will boost the county's hope of claiming their first ever title, having missed out by the narrowest of margins to Nottinghamshire in 2010.

Meanwhile SLC’s Interim Committee secretary Nishantha Ranatunga confirmed that they have given the Lankan mystery spinner the green light provided that he would be available for national duty in case of him being drafted.

However Sri Lanka is scheduled to tour England this summer where they will play three tests, five one dayers and a T20 international.

Thu 26 – Mon 30 May 1st npower Test v Sri Lanka Cardiff
Fri 3 – Tue 7 June 2nd npower Test v Sri Lanka Lord’s
Thu 16 – Mon 20 June 3rd npower Test v Sri Lanka The Rose Bowl

T20 International
Sat 25 June NatWest International T20 v Sri Lanka Bristol

One Day Internationals
Tue 28 June 1st NatWest Series ODI v Sri Lanka Brit Insurance Oval
Fri 1 July 2nd NatWest Series ODI v Sri Lanka Headingley Carnegie
Sun 3 July 3rd NatWest Series ODI v Sri Lanka Emirates Durham ICG
Wed 6 July 4th NatWest Series ODI v Sri Lanka Trent Bridge
Sat 9 July 5th NatWest Series ODI v Sri Lanka Old Trafford

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