Coach will beg Edness to stay on as captain
Jeff Richardson, the Somerset coach, says he will do everything within his power to try and persuade Jekon Edness to stay on as captain of the Cup Match champions.
The wicketkeeper-batsman dropped a bombshell in the lead up to Somerset's first victory at Wellington Oval in 34 years when he announced that this year would be his last in charge.
However, Richardson believes that Edness should continue on in the leadership role as he feels that the time is not right for a change.
“I just don't think that anyone is completely ready to take over next year, so I will do everything within my power to persuade Jekon to stay,” Richardson said. “Perhaps in another year or two we can actually groom someone else and then pass the captaincy on.”
Edness stepped down as captain after serving in the role for five years, during which time he led Somerset to three victories, including a first in the East End since Joe Bailey's side in 1981 this year.
The son of Anthony Manders, the former Western Stars and Somerset Cup Match wicketkeeper-batsman, cited personal and work commitments for his reason to step down.
Richardson said Edness's decision caught him by surprise.
“I know he has professional goals, and his personal life has changed as he is married and has a child with another on the way, but as young as he is this came as a bit of a surprise,” Richardson said. “I can understand his decision but there's ways of persuading people.”
That Richardson is the coach of Somerset owes much to Edness.
“The only reason I am here is because of Jekon,” Richardson said. “When Jekon became captain of Somerset Cricket Club he approached me and asked me to come back because he had this vision, and I am glad that he did and glad I was a part of that vision which has come to fruition.”
As for his own future at Somerset, Richardson, who was a reserve in Clevie Wade's St George's side that won at Somerset in 1983, said: “You can't give up on a team like this, so I am going to soldier on.”
Edness ended his stint as Somerset captain in fine fashion, hitting the winning boundary to seal victory for the West Enders.
He said before the game that this would be his last match as captain, although he intends to continue playing in Cup Match.
“It is something I've been thinking about since last year, trying to figure the right time to let someone else take over,” Edness said. “I felt the best time was this year so if a new captain comes in then he would come in, in Somerset where you have a lot more control.”
Edness replaced Jacobi Robinson as Somerset captain.