Fan’s view into 2019: Seattle Nick

  • Who are you, where do you live and how long have you supported Somerset?

Nick from Seattle, I have been Somerset since 1977.

My early memories of following Somerset from the mid-70’s when I was around 10 and living in the UK. The Gillette Cup run of 1978, including the wonderfully dramatic semi-final against Essex, made me think that at last we were going to win something. Seeing it all go wrong, particularly on the Sunday, was fairly heartbreaking and I do miss the commentary of John Arlott and Jim Laker on BBC2 on Sunday afternoons.

The following year of course was when it all came good – a fine win against Northants followed by the Sunday League. I read an article years later that Mike Brierley promised Ian Botham in the England dressing room that his Middlesex team would beat Kent so that Somerset could win the Sunday league and this is what duly happened. This very much made up for the rather unfortunate ‘I do declare’ incident even though to this day I believe Brian Rose was right to do it because it was within the rules.

Some great years followed but then came the decline which happens to all teams. I understand the board were trying to do the right thing in building a new team around Martin Crowe and Ian Botham but it was so poorly done I’m not surprised it led to a mutiny and the appointment of Peter Roebuck as captain was questionable to say the least. Roebuck was an above average county cricketer with a great intellect (1st in Law from Cambridge) and a wonderful writer. The problem was he was not a leader of men. Botham on the other hand was a natural leader but did not have the intellect. It was always going to be a train wreck. Roebuck was much happier as a commentator and writer. I won’t dwell on his personal life and death.

Rock bottom for some years after that until the early 2000’s. A wonderful T20 finals day win against Lancashire (how I wish we could have kept Graeme Smith) and we are back to the second-place syndrome we have suffered from in the past so the circle is now closing again.

  • How easy or difficult is it to follow Somerset’s fortunes over in the US of A?

I got to see finals day on the T20 last year. There is an Indian cricket channel (Willow) available for a subscription but it is mostly internationals and the T20 world league.

Most of the Somerset stuff I get is on local BBC Radio which I get off the internet. Sometimes nice people post things on YouTube!!

I do my best to keep up the goings on but it is difficult out here. I have lived in the US for 8 years now and have only seen kids playing cricket once.

But cricket really has not reached here yet. Things are moving forward though. I got to see the Six nations Rugby on NBC this year!!

  • Overall how do you feel Somerset performed in 2018?

I would say 6 out of 10.

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

Craig Overton in the four-day and both one-day formats

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

Coming second (again) in the County Championship!

  • How do you think we will perform in 2019:
    • Specsavers County Championship (can Surrey be caught?)

Mid-table

  • Royal London One Day Cup

I think we could win this

  • NatWest T20 Blast

Possible finals day

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

James Hildreth

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

Tim Rouse

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

To win something – it’s about time. We have been coming second far too many times!