Thomas Blow

Published by Pitch Publishing
A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way,
Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ


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Pages: 254

MRP: £16.99


The word bridesmaids and Somerset have unfortunately become synonymous with each other, especially over the last decade when they were five times runner-up but could not quite make it across the line as the county champions. Only Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire are in the unwanted group of counties never to have won the County Championship.

Kings in Waiting seems therefore an apt title for Thomas Blow's look at Somerset's last decade. In his book, Thomas gives us an impressive account of County Championship matches played during the last decade whilst also mentioning in some detail the one-day (and T20) matches where Somerset did prevail in the winning of the 2019 One-Day Cup. As a Somerset supporter and Associate Member this year, I was looking forward to seeing some of the early rounds of County Championship matches, and also hoping that Somerset can go one better. Alas, lockdown restrictions for the early rounds of the championship will mean that counties will have to again start playing behind closed doors, but doubtless the Somerset faithful will be out in fuller force as soon as it is possible.

In Kings in Waiting, Thomas has extensively interviewed many former players and some of the current coaching set-up. It was not so long ago that a Somerset face in the England Test team was more of a rarity but now both Dom Bess (who has now moved to Yorkshire) and Jack Leach have appeared regularly. Times change, as do circumstances and the book charts the progress through the last decade. Not every season was a resounding success but twice Somerset came tantalisingly and agonisingly close to holding aloft the elusive trophy. Many matches are covered in great detail and the thoughts of the very good number of players interviewed adequately shows the heartache and emotion of coming so close on occasion.

Somerset have, in captain Tom Abell, not only a fine leader but an impressive human being and there must be a feeling that soon Somerset can climb to the top rung of the ladder. The county has a number of excellent players and, although there is a points penalty to erase from 2019, they should again be strong contenders. Somerset supporters and county cricket fans should be grateful to Thomas for this book on Somerset's recent history. Doubtless, the supporters would ideally like the book to be updated after this coming season to include Somerset's landing of the County Championship Trophy for the first time - and, if so, one assumes, with a different title.