Somerset have been rocked by the news that Mario Jirout will miss the start of the season after suffering back injuries in a car crash. Heis due to have surgery after the accident in the Czech Republic and early reports suggest he has full movement.

Rebels promoter Andy Hewlett said: "It's a blow for us but our initial thoughts have to be with Mario himself." Jirout has become something of a cult hero at Highbridge and would have formed part of a potent speasrhead along with new signing Mark Lemon and the returning Glenn Cunningham.

Where the Rebels may find a replacement of Jirout's scoring power may prove difficult at this stage of pre-season planning.