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Richardson: it’s business as usual

On a hat-trick: Somerset can become the first side in 45 years to win the cup three times in a row (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

After achieving a first victory at Wellington Oval in 34 years in last year’s Cup Match, champions Somerset have their sights on another rare feat.

The West Enders are on the verge of a third successive victory, something that has eluded them since 1941 when they won the third of four titles on the trot.

Michael Corday, the chairman of Somerset’s selection committee, said the possibility of a “three-peat” has the players really “fired up”, especially at Somerset Cricket Club.

“The guys are really up for winning it a third time,” Corday said. “We look for motivation every year and I think that’s our biggest motivation right now because we really want to win a third time.

“It would be nice to get a three-peat and to do it on home soil would make it even more special.”

Jeff Richardson, the Somerset coach, has no doubts the champions have the pedigree to win the coveted trophy for the third straight year.

“I think this team can achieve that [three-peat] but we have to work hard, which we are doing,” Richardson said. “We do not want to lose the cup, so we picked a team that’s not going to lose the cup.

“This is a team that has dominated Cup Match the last four years; three wins and in my opinion a winning draw. I think it will be business as usual for us.”

Richardson, who also played for Somerset in Cup Match, believes that complacency, more than anything else, is the biggest challenge facing the champions.

“Our biggest challenge is not letting complacency set in because when you dominate the way we have you have to be creative in trying to motivate or inspire guys not to become complacent,” he said.

Richardson refused to be drawn into comment on St George’s’ team, choosing instead to focus on his own players.

“I don’t have any thoughts on St George’s team,” said Richardson, who was a reserve for St George’s at Somerset in 1983. “I concentrate on what we have to do as a cricket team.

“If we do what we do right and work hard then we will get the results we are looking for.”

St George’s are the last team to win three or more successive Cup Match titles.

Under the leadership of Calvin “Bummy” Symonds, the East Enders achieved an unprecedented eight victories between 1961 and 1969.