Fan’s view into 2019: Richard Isbell

  • Overall how do you feel Somerset performed in 2018?

I thought it was very enjoyable season.  Some early wins in the CC meant that we were not under pressure in the second half of the season, as in previous years.  However, unfortunately we or any other county were never able to put Surrey under any real pressure.

We had our moments in limited overs cricket, although unfortunately we didn’t turn up on T20 Finals Day and once again Kent proved our nemesis in both competitions.

  • Who was your stand-out performer on the field during the season?

Championship – James Hildreth

One Day – this is difficult, as several players performed well, such as Corey Anderson; Jerome Taylor; Jamie Overton

  • What will be your stand-out memory of last season and why?

Johann Myburgh’s 42 ball T20 century against Essex was the highlight for me.  It was great to see such a popular player bow out at Taunton on a high, even if his last appearance on Finals Day was a disappointment.

  • Are you happy with our preparations building up to 2019 (recruitment, preseason, etc.)

I don’t feel qualified to fully respond, but I will be happy with the preparations as long as the team performs on the field…..!!!

Regarding recruitment, I think we have several young players competing for places and they need to be given opportunities rather than recruiting new players at this point.

  • How do you think we will perform in 2019:
    • Specsavers County Championship

I think it is getting increasingly difficult for the ‘shire’ counties to compete against the ‘Test ground counties’, as they have far greater clout and financial resources.  This can be illustrated by the recruitment of players by Notts and Surrey during the close season – although who knows if we can get a good start?

  • Royal London One Day Cup & NatWest T20 Blast                                  

Either one of the limited overs competitions is probably our best bet for silverware.

  • Who do you expect to be our most important player in 2019?

I really hope that the Overton twins will really ‘hit their straps’ this season and they stay clear of injury, but I am sure that Jack Brooks will play a key role.

  • Who is the young player you think can develop into a key player in the new season?

I have high hopes for Tom Banton.

  • Are you looking forward to watching Somerset under floodlights?

Living in Cornwall, I am not too keen on watching under lights as, if I attend games, it will mean getting home at around midnight…..!!

However, the main concern I have is that floodlit games are not going to attract young children to attend these games due to the late finish and travelling home time – even if they live relatively close to the ground.  It is obvious that the introduction of floodlights was to capitalise on the income from live TV coverage and ‘toe the line’.

  • In general what is your main hope for the 2019 season for Somerset?

A successful season with some good cricket in all formats, close entertaining matches and silverware – not much to ask……..!!

Finally, it has been great to see Craig Overton; Dom Bess and Jack Leach all gain Test recognition during that last twelve months or so and let’s hope Somerset are represented when England win the Ashes in 2019!!  Even if It continues to annoy all Somerset supporters that the England selectors continually overlook James Hildreth, whose stats are far superior to most batsmen that have been given opportunities in recent years.