SOMERSET boasts the third highest income for membership and gate receipts of the 18 First Class counties in England, the members who packed into the Colin Atkinson Pavilion for the 2014 annual meeting were told.

The strength of that membership can be judged by the 240 people who attended the meeting, the biggest for a long time according to chief executive Guy Lavender.

He said: “There was a fantastic turn out for the AGM on Monday evening and it provided a great opportunity for us to talk about the past season and look to the future which was all very well received.

“We have some passionate and knowledgeable members who are very keen to give their views and opinions on a range of issues so it was a very positive meeting and it really bodes well for a successful season in 2014.”

And with the start of the new cricket season just over 11 weeks away, Somerset fans are signing up to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ discounted prices that are on offer until February.

Lavender added: “Membership has been very strong this year which we are delighted to see, especially as we don’t have a tourist game this year.

“There is still a little way to go until the end of the discounted period but things are on track and it proves that despite a tough season in 2013 there is still a huge amount of enthusiasm for being part of the club.”

Meanwhile Somerset’s Anya Shrubsole is playing a major part in helping England Women tighten their grip on winning the Ashes series out in Australia.

The Somerset skipper had match figures of 7-99 in the 61 run victory over the Aussies in the Test Match in Perth.

And she followed up that by playing a key role in helping England to win the opening one-day international by seven wickets.

Shrubsole is back on international duty again today (Thursday) in the second ODI in Melbourne.