Cricket

Somerset short-handed for play-off clash

  • School daze: Richardson is left depleted as several young players have returned to education overseas (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The loss of key players and lack of experience has taken its toll on Somerset, who have been dragged into a relegation battle.

Somerset finished second from the bottom in the One Premier Division to leave their top-flight status hanging in the balance.

They will now play First Division runners up Flatts on Sunday in a play-off to determine which team will be playing in Bermuda’s top division next season.

Somerset did not play their final league match against Southampton Rangers last weekend as both teams turned up short.

Jeff Richardson, the Somerset coach, said his roster was left depleted by the loss of three key players, who have returned to school overseas.

“We have limited numbers simply because we have guys away in school,” he said. “William White, Solomon Burrows and Isaiah Richardson have all gone back to school so we are missing three first-team players.

“Our season starts so late it goes right into the time when the kids are going back to school and, quite frankly, it’s not sustainable with the numbers that we have. If we started the season a little earlier than we may be able to get the season done and dusted before all these guys go back to school.

“But when you have a quota of about 14-15 players and three players have gone back to school it leaves us struggling with numbers and the fact my team is so young we are lacking of lot of experience.”

Somerset took a hit after losing two of their most senior players and former captains Jacobi Robinson and Jekon Edness, who returned to childhood club Western Stars at the end of the 2016 campaign.

“When you guys like Jacobi and Jekon leave you lose so much experience in your team,” Richardson added. “If you look at the numbers and personnel that I have, this was always a possibility so I am not surprised at all that we are in this position.”

Richardson has been forced to tap into every available source to fill the voids ahead of Sunday’s do-or-die clash.

“We have a few young players among the under-15s that are pretty solid and we also have the reliable Reid Jones,” he said.

Richardson, the former Western Stars and Somerset Cup Match batsman, is confident his players will be equal to the task against Flatts.

“I am confident that we should get it done but whether we do or not is a different story because the game is played on the day,” he said.

“But given what we have and given the circumstances I don’t see why we shouldn’t come through unscathed.”