Somerset predict nothing more than the odd tinker
Somerset's selection committee could be in store for an early night when the Cup Match champions choose their team to defend the trophy after the final trial match at Somerset Cricket Club on Saturday.
“I do not think the selection committee will have that much trouble picking the team,” Michael Corday, the chairman of the selection committee, said. “We already know what type of team we need to use against St George's to win and have an idea of the players we want.
“You never know what is going to happen during the selection process on the night. But I think we are OK.”
The cup-holders have been forced already to make one change because of the unavailability of Kamau Leverock, the all-rounder, who is in England playing in the Sussex Premier League with Horsham Cricket Club.
Among the favourites to replace Leverock is Jordan DeSilva, a club player, who has been in impressive form with the bat and ball.
Leverock is one of two changes that many are predicting will be made to the Somerset squad that regained the cup on home turf the last time the west-enders hosted Cup Match in 2012.
There is growing speculation that the axe may fall on Stephen Outerbridge, the early-order batsman, in favour of drafting another all-rounder into the squad.
One potential replacement for Outerbridge being touted around the west end is Deunte Darrell, of Willow Cuts, who was chosen as the Annual Classic's MVP on his Cup Match debut four years ago.
“Anybody has as much chance as anybody else of making the team,” Corday added. “We do have an abundance of talent and it just depends on what the coach [Jeff Richardson] and captain [Jekon Edness] think we need to win the cup. We have weapons at our disposal; it is just a matter of picking the right ones.”
Somerset successfully defended the cup at Wellington Oval last year with an unchanged line-up from the one that thrashed St George's by ten wickets at Somerset two years ago.
In contrast, St George's made six changes and that trend is likely to continue this year as the east-enders attempt to regain the cup.
One player they will not be able to rely on this year is Stefan Kelly, the medium-fast bowler. Charlie Marshall, the chairman of the St George's selection committee, confirmed yesterday that the Bermuda player will remain in Britain for a second straight year.
Letter, page 22