Matt Henry’s lasting impact

In the first of a series of guest blogs this festive period, Lewis Wiseman from the Somerset County Gazette contributes a piece regarding the impact of Matt Henry on Somerset’s 2023 summer.


As we all know, Somerset has a long history of big-name overseas signings leaving their mark on the Club.

However, I would argue that not many come close to the impact left by New Zealand’s Matt Henry. The 31-year-old right-arm fast-medium bowler helped Somerset to a Vitality Blast title and contributed in the County Championship excellently.

Matt joined the Club as an overseas player in May and had a major impact on the field and even more so off it during his time at the Cooper Associates County Ground. Of course, the main highlight was his Player of the Match performance in the Vitality Blast final in which he took four wickets to help Somerset lift the trophy.


However, all throughout the campaign, both in the Blast and the Championship there were moments of brilliance from Somerset’s star man.

He was a big addition to the side when he played, and when he was running in to bowl, you knew his delivery would be consistent and strong, and he was never far away from a wicket.

In total, Matt bowled 1039 balls in his six LV= Insurance County Championship matches for Somerset. Across those six games, he took an impressive 32 First Class wickets with a bowling average of 16.18 in the competition. Adding to that, he bowled 42 maiden overs, really highlighting the fear he put into the opposition batters. His best figures in this season’s County Championship were six for 59 which he achieved against Nottinghamshire.

In my opinion, most impressively, Matt claimed five or more wickets in an innings on four occasions for the Club in the County Championship.

With the bat, his top score was 50 not out against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Moving to the T20 competition, Matt bowled 314 balls in the tournament and was the leading wicket taker with a very impressive 31 victims.

He achieved a bowling average of 13.25 in his 14 Vitality Blast matches and his performance on Finals Day was one that will be remembered for a long time amongst Somerset fans. Aside from the stats and the big performances, Matt Henry endeared himself to those fans with his kind nature.

The amount of time he spent after games signing autographs and speaking with the young Somerset fans was impressive. During the Vitality Blast Celebration Event, Matt almost had to be dragged away from the fans in order to fulfil his speaking duties on the night.

The man truly immersed himself into the Club, the community and the county. Not often does an overseas player make an impact off the pitch and bring success on it. Matt Henry did both.

When he signed his Somerset contract, Matt said: “I’m excited by the challenge, and I hope that I can make big contributions for Somerset both on and off the field.”

I think it is safe to say he came and did exactly as he set out to do.

Thanks, Matt.

(Lewis Wiseman is the Sports Editor at The Somerset County Gazette series).