FORMER Somerset favourite Steve Kirby is returning to the club to reprise the role of bowling coach which he previously held between 2020 and 2022.

Fast bowler Kirby was born in Bury, Lancashire  in 1977 and made his debut for Yorkshire in 2001. He first came to the attention of Somerset when he played for Yorkshire in their 10 wicket victory at the County Ground in June 2003.

The following winter he went on the England A tour to India but in 2004 he struggled with a back injury and at the end of that season left to join Gloucestershire where he remained until joining Somerset in 2011.

Kirbs made an immediate impact and in his first season with the Cidermen he took 53 wickets at 31.54 in the championship.

His second season was limited by injury to just nine first class matches but he still managed to claim 24 wickets at 30, while in 2013 Kirbs played 10 matches and took 26 wickets at 35.11.

At the end of the 2013 season he signed an extension to his contract but during the winter underwent surgery for both an ankle injury and a shoulder injury, which eventually resulted in him retiring from the game in July 2014.

After departing from the playing staff following a couple of years out of the game Kirbs was appointed Head Coach of the (MCC) at Lord’s in April 2016 where he stayed until October 2018 when he to join Derbyshire as their new assistant and bowling coach.

He re-joined Somerset as bowling coach in 2020 where he stayed for a further two years before becoming Bowling Coach for Zimbabwe in 2022.

Regarding his return, he said: “I’d like to hugely thank everyone at Zimbabwe Cricket for giving me the chance to work within the international game during the last few years.

“Working in such a rewarding and humbling country has taught me so much, in particular in the areas of man-management. 

“The benefits of this experience will certainly aid me in any coaching role in the future and I can’t wait to be able to bring these skills to Taunton and help support what is an amazing squad of players.

“However, spending so much time away from my family and children has been difficult. The position at Somerset will give me the chance to spend more time with them, and that’s something that’s very important to me.

He added: “I already have a good relationship with the Somerset bowling group. The club have a great blend of proven performers and outstanding young talent, and it’s exciting to think about what the next few years can hold. I just can’t wait to get going.”