Langer excited by Twenty20 debut
Veteran Australia batsman Justin Langer is looking forward to playing Twenty20 cricket for the first time when he lines up for defending champs Somerset.
Langer's six-week stint as a stand in for compatriot Dan Cullen includes the group stages of the 20-over tournament.
"I've never played any Twenty20 cricket so it's going to be nice to play with some freedom," he told BBC Bristol.
"I watched the Australia-South Africa game last year and I can understand why people really enjoy it."
Langer, 35, who spent three seasons with Middlesex between 1998 and 2000, begins his stay with a C&G Trophy game in Belfast on Sunday.
And the Twenty20 Cup starts with Gloucestershire's visit to Taunton two days later.
Langer's Test captain Ricky Ponting spent time with Somerset two years ago and gave the club a glowing recommendation.
"Ricky is one of my closest friends and that was one of the carrots for coming here because I know how much he enjoyed it," Langer said.
"To follow in his footsteps here is a real thrill for me."
Langer admits this winter's Ashes series is already the focus of many Australians back in his homeland.
"It's going to be huge and I think the Ashes in Australia is as big as the World Cup is for you in England," he added.
"I know that's had a huge impact here, I can feel it already and I can't wait."