Sir Michael full of praise for Somerset squad

The sheer delight and pleasure on the face of Sir Michael Barber, the Chair of Somerset County Cricket Club, was clear to see as he watched the team lift the Vitality Blast trophy at Edgbaston on Saturday evening.

“It was one of the best days of my life,” he said. “I must admit that I was so absorbed in the cricket that I got through all of my fingernails. What makes this team so special is that they had that little edge and found a way to win even when they were under pressure, which is a credit to them. That’s what you need to win trophies.

“When I was privileged enough to be able to go onto the pitch afterwards, I was so excited because of a combination of that final catch by Tom Kohler-Cadmore which was brilliant, the feeling was of relief and elation, and almost disbelief because the tension had been so great.

“I thought that the performance of the team right through the Vitality Blast campaign was absolutely fantastic and as Chair of the Club of course you love to watch all of that, but you give the credit to the players for their sense of solidarity, their discipline, their passion and intensity under pressure.

“I cannot praise Jason Kerr and Andy Hurry highly enough for the way that they handled all of that, and Lewis Gregory came in and captained the side very well.

“As Chair you spend a lot of time worrying about whether you’ve got the budget and where are you going to get the money from and how you are going to make sure that you can meet all of the Members expectations, which is all perfectly reasonable. But then to have this moment on Saturday when you see the team play with such brilliance through two tough games against two top sides. It was one of  the best days of my life.

“To meet the players on the field afterwards was great and an absolute privilege. It was a joy. I loved the way that Tom Kohler- Cadmore went into the crowd and found Bodhi and brought him onto the field. Even at the moment of victory they were doing what we know that group of players always does which is thinking about the Club and its relationships and thinking about the fans. They are not just great cricketers they are all great people.”

Sir Michael added: “After the match I spoke to the two New Zealanders who played a big part in the final, Ish Sodhi and Mat Henry and they said how welcomed they had been made to feel here and how much they had loved their time with Somerset.

“These are two New Zealand Test players and winning the Vitality Blast with Somerset was the highlight of their career, which is a wonderful thing.  Of course, winning a tournament as a cricketer is a great thing, but they loved winning it with Somerset.”