So it’s over. The season has ebbed and flowed like all the best four day games do, and has now ended, for Somerset, with a disappointing performance, one made all the more so after what was such an encouraging win over Northants last week.
But that’s cricket! Yes there have been a few downs this season, too many perhaps, but remember, alongside the lows of that 69 all out against Hampshire and the perhaps inevitable poor run in the RLODC given the unavailability of so many players, there have been numerous highs too. There have been many excellent individual performances – Tom Abell’s 1000 first class runs, Jack Leach’s man of the match award in a Test Match, the emergence of, amongst others, James Rew and Kasey Aldridge, several strong bowling performances and a number of notable centuries not least that once in a lifetime innings by Ben Green. And as well as the record breaking domestic T20 score that took us to finals day of the Vitality Blast, we have, let’s not forget, survived to fight another season in Division One.
Cricket then, like life, is not always about winning. Sometimes it’s about survival.
Cricket for me is somewhere to escape the rat race where everyone has to kill themselves trying to be first. Personally speaking, the burden of having to be awesome is too much for me and I will not, therefore, demand perfection of others. I am grateful for the grace shown to me by those who have not discarded me when my performance has been disappointing, to others as well as myself, and so I will endeavour to show that same grace to those who also have not always been at their best. For one only has to watch ‘The Edge’, the 2019 film of how England become the world’s number one test team, to realise what absolutely having to be top does to the mental health of players under such a weight of expectation.
Cricket is in many ways like life. Those of us who have any experience at all realise that our lives are not made up of one victory after another. Rather our lives are a journey made up of many ups and downs and they too are sometimes more about survival than success. The journey itself and those with whom you make it are perhaps the things that most determine how satisfied one is with one’s lot. To sometimes win is, obviously, hugely enjoyable, but being in the race with the hope of future success is valuable too.
In 45 years of supporting Somerset, the number of trophies the team have won have been few, but the ride has nonetheless been exhilarating at times. And even this season, though disappointing in terms of success, there has been joy in the struggle. Sadly there are some who do not seem to understand this, including some who, occupying positions of influence, insist that nothing is more important than being the best.
But they are wrong, it’s absolutely not all about winning.
So at the end of the season, a few thank you’s to the good folk at Somerset CCC:
To Tom Abell and the whole team for providing such great entertainment in what has still been an enjoyable season.
To all those who work behind the scenes to keep the club running smoothly
To the technical team and commentators on the livestream who have provided such brilliant service all season for those of us unable to get to as many games as we would like.
To those whose match reports and podcasts about the club they have made freely available on social media.
To those who curate the Somerset Cricket Museum – a great place to while away the lunch and tea intervals
To those who I have met and enjoyed chatting to as we we’ve watched together from the boundary
And to Stumpy and Brian the club cat for reminding us to never take things too seriously – cricket is after all just a game.
There will be some who will accuse me of being a naïve Somerset supporter who sees things through maroon tinted spectacles. Well they can say what they like but it’ll not stop me supporting the team I love and you can rest assured I’ll be back again next season to do it all again.
And I for one can’t wait!
Happy winter everyone. See you all next April!
Other cricket related posts
To read ‘A Day at the Cricket’, click here
To read ‘Scooby Doo and the Mystery of the Deseted Cricket Ground’, click here
To read ‘Brian and Stumpy visit The Repair Shop’, click here
To read ‘A Tale of Two Tons’, click here
To read ‘A Somerset Cricket Players Emporium’, click here
To read ‘The Great Cricket Sell Off?‘, click here
To read ‘A Cricket Taunt’, click here
To read ‘A Song for Brian’, click here
To read ‘How Covid-19 stole the the cricket season’, click here
To read ‘Frodo and the Format of Power’, click here
To read ‘A Cricket Tea Kind of a Day’, click here
To read ‘How the Grinch Stole from County Cricket – or at least tried to’, click here
To read ‘Life in the slow lane’, click here
To read ‘If Only’, click here
To read ‘I’ve got a little CRICKET list’, click here
To read ‘Eve of the RLODC limericks’ click here
To read ‘It’s coming home…’, click here
To read ‘A Song for Ben Green’, click here
To read ‘Enough Said…’, the last section of which is cricket related, click here
A Jack Leach Trilogy:
To read ‘For when we can’t see why’, click here
To read ‘WWJD – What would Jack Do?’, click here
To read ‘On Playing a Blinder’, click here
To read ‘Coping with Disappointment’, click here
And to finish – a couple with a theological flavour
To read ‘Somerset CCC – Good for the soul’, click here
To read ‘Longing for the pavilion whilst enjoying a good innings’, click here