Somerset appoint Reeve as coach

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Dermot Reeve, the new coach at Somerset, is pledging to produce a fitter team for next season. The former Warwickshire captain believes his new county have the talent to achieve success, particularly with the Pakistan leg-spinner, Mushtaq Ahmed, returning to team up with Andy Caddick.

Reeve, confirmed as Somerset's new first-team coach yesterday, said: "I want to bring in a more professional approach, while creating a relaxed environment which will encourage the players to produce their best.

"There is a lot of talent here and together with Colin Wells I shall be looking to maximise it. I am ready to give 100 per cent to the job and see it as a great new challenge.

"The players will be given incentives to report back fitter than ever in the spring and then we shall try to build on that.

"Fitness is so vital in first-class cricket these days, particularly for the bowlers. It has become something of an obsession with me."

The 32-year-old Reeve was the most successful captain in the county game in the 1990s, but had to step down at the beginning of last season because of a hip injury.

In 1994 he led Warwickshire to the unique treble of the Championship, Benson and Hedges Cup and the Sunday League.

Among Reeve's first duties will be to advise on strengthening Somerset's squad with winter signings, and the appointment of a new captain to succeed Andy Hayhurst who left the club at the end of the season.

n Brian Lara will captain the West Indies for the first time in a limited- overs, day-night match against Western Australia at the WACA today. Lara will take over from the tour captain, Courtney Walsh, who will be rested for the second match of the tour.