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Somerset complete signing of South Africa opening batsman Alviro Petersen

Alviro Petersen: Joining Somerset for the start of the new campaign

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Somerset have signed South Africa opening batsman Alviro Petersen for the first half of the 2013 season.

Petersen has county cricket experience, having represented Glamorgan in 2011 before joining Essex for the opening period of last season.

The 31-year-old was also a key figure in South Africa's 2-0 Test series triumph in England this summer, his tour including a Test-best 182 at Headingley.

Petersen, who has played 16 Tests and 17 ODIs for his country and boasts a first-class average of almost 40, has signed for Somerset until the start of the Friends Life t20 competition next summer.

"Somerset are a successful team in all forms of cricket and I look forward to becoming part of the set-up at the County Ground," he said.

"I hope that I can help them to win some trophies in 2013."

Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender was delighted to have secured the services of such an experienced performer.

"He is an exceptional player and has an impressive record as a batsman, which he demonstrated during this summer's series against England," he said.

"We look forward to welcoming him to Taunton in the spring."