DeSilva named Somerset Cup Match captain
Being named Somerset's Cup Match captain has not quite sunk in for Jordan DeSilva.
DeSilva has been chosen as the new captain of the defending champions, replacing Jekon Edness who stood down after last year's win at Wellington Oval.
The all-rounder, who turned 26 last week, readily accepted the challenge of leading both the league team and the Cup Match side.
Like St George's, who appointed OJ Pitcher last year to replace Oronde Bascome as captain, now the champions have a new leader.
“About two or three weeks ago we had a meeting, myself, the president [Alfred Maybury] and Jekon was there as well, and once he told them he was adamant that he was finished then it [captaincy] came on to me, although they didn't make the decision there and then,” DeSilva said.
“While I was in Jamaica [with the Royal Bermuda Regiment] last week the president sent me a message saying ‘we've made our decision, we're going with you'.”
DeSilva, now in his thirteenth year as a player, says it will be an honour to captain the club in Cup Match. He has played five times after making his debut in 2008, three times before being dropped in 2011 and then returning in 2014.
“My first priority is the league team, getting us back to where I feel we belong, which is the Premier Division,” DeSilva said. “It's up to us to prove that we should be in the Premier Division, so that's number one.
“Then, of course when Cup Match comes around it's going to be more intense. I'm answering questions now and it's only May, but we all know what the main goal is, to win and if you can't win then don't lose the cup. That's the number one priority, really.”
DeSilva is not totally new in the job, having captained the Somerset league team on occasions when Jacobi Robinson and Jekon Edness, the club's previous captains, were unavailable.
“To be honest it hasn't really sunk in yet, I haven't even captained a league [T20] game yet because I've been away,” he said. “But once I get onto the field after a couple more training sessions that's when it will start to sink in. Right now it is still fresh. Jordan DeSilva, Cup Match captain hasn't quite hit me yet.
“I've captained the league team on a few occasions, when Jacobi was captain and was abroad I took over and also when Jekon was unavailable, so this isn't my first rodeo. It's just the first time it's official and now Cup Match is another kettle of fish.”
DeSilva is still cementing his spot in the team after sitting out three years. “I've been in the last two that we've won,” he said.
“This will be my thirteenth season playing for Somerset and I've never played anywhere else. I know the ins and outs of the club, I have played five Cup Matches but also had three as a reserve so I've been around a pretty long time.
“I know captaincy is another thing but the club backs me and at the end of the day I back myself to get the job done.”
Taking over the captaincy at home should help DeSilva in his first year, and he will also have former captains like Edness, Robinson and Janeiro Tucker to call on for advice, as well as Cup Match vice-captain Malachi Jones.
“That was one of the deciding factors, because if you asked Jekon to do it for another two years then in two years there could be no Jekon, no Jacobi and no Janeiro as well,” he said.
“You still have Malachi and Chris Douglas but I think I'll be more comfortable having those [other] guys around me to start. Then, after two years if they are not there, I would have more knowhow.
“Jekon is the senior player in our team and he went out [as captain] on top, winning in St George's for the first time in 34 years.
“As a player I think you have to play Cup Match to understand it, but I also think you have to captain Cup Match to understand it as well, to be hands on.”
Mike Corday, the Somerset team manager, is backing DeSilva in his new role. “I'm really looking forward to it, he's a smart young man, very cricket-oriented and eats, drinks and sleeps cricket,” Corday said.
“Collectively it was a logical choice. He'll have plenty of help and should be fine.”