The Somerset VICC team have been looking back at a perceived disappointing 2015 and ahead to 2016 with some positivity this week. The Incider spoke to newly installed captain Rob Crisp about his hopes for the new season for team and self.
2015 was a frustrating year for Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club after indifferent performances and some player unavailability saw the 2014 BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup winners fail to build on the progress made in the previous years. The Taunton-based team finished sixth (out of seven) in the National League winning just one match, drawing two and losing three games pretty heavily. Things didn’t go any better in the cup competitions as Somerset exited both at the first hurdle, despite putting in two of their better performances of the season. In the 30 over BBS Heindrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup Somerset went down by 71 runs to eventual winners Warwickshire, who went on to complete a double by winning the league comfortably. In the Twenty20 Cup Somerset suffered defeat on the penultimate ball against Metro, who would go on to lose in the semi-finals to eventual winners Sussex.
Despite the frustrating season for the team, Graham Glover and vice-captain Rob Crisp were nominated for total fielder of the year and partially sighted fielder of the year respectively, whilst Ed Hossell was nominated for partially sighted player of the year.
Hossell also had a very successful winter down in Australia with the England Visually Impaired team, where England regained the Blind Ashes winning a five-match One Day International series 4-1 with the Twenty20 series tied at 1-1. Hossell put in a man-of-the-match performance in the third ODI, breaking the England record bowling figures with 4-27 to help England to an unassailable 3-0 lead and regain the Ashes on Australia Day. In the final ODI of the series Hossell went one better, becoming the first Englishman to take five wickets in a match with figures of 5-35.
Looking into the 2016 season, Somerset will certainly be hoping Hossell can bring his form with England into the county season, as the county will be looking to improve on a difficult season last year. Hossell is also the new vice-captain, with Rob Crisp being promoted to captain after Alan Mabey stood down after a very successful five years in the role. The first game of the season sees Somerset travel to London to face Metro on April 23rd.