RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Kings in Waiting - Somerset's Quest to win the County Championship by Thomas Blow
Kings in Waiting - Somerset's Quest to win the County Championship
by Thomas Blow

First published by Pitch Publishing, in 2021
an imprint of Hardie Grant Publishing,

A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way,
Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ


Pages: 254

Price: Sterling Pounds 16.99

ISBN: 978 1 78531 830 6

Kings in Waiting is the comprehensive account of Somerset's quest to win the Championship during the last decade, one which saw them finish runners-up five times - 2010, 2012, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Thomas Blow says, "Since they won the Twenty20 Cup in 2005, they have finished as runners-up in 12 major tournaments at the time of writing in 2020. This has led to them being described as the bridesmaids of English cricket, consistently playing a starring role in the ceremony but never being the centre of attention. In this respect, the past 15 seasons have been hard. They have had to endure defeat on so many occasions, with the press labelling them as chokers."

The book charts a rise from obscurity under Justin Langer's leadership, how they created two fiercely competitive teams and also examines why they have consistently failed to win trophies.

Langer had transformed them into one of the most competitive teams in the land. According to Thomas Blow, "another way of looking at it, however, is recognising how brilliant they have been since Langer's appointment. Although his great side - which Trescothick inherited after his retirement in October 2009 - never managed to win a trophy, they entertained county fans across the country by playing some fabulous cricket. They challenged in every competition thanks to the brilliance of their squad."

After a few quiet years, a new team began to emerge under Chris Rogers, one full of youth and promise. He guided them to second in 2016 and his successor Tom Abell finally managed to win a trophy in 2019. Yet the all-important Championship title remains absent from their cabinet.

According to the author, there is a collective fearlessness ingrained within the current Somerset team, one which their youngsters, playing without the scars of previous failures, inspire. Thanks to the outstanding structure in place at Somerset, that team should not grow old together. Although they have lost Dom Bess to Yorkshire and Jamie Overton to Surrey ahead of the 2021 season, new players are constantly coming through and trying to win a place in the first team.

A superb publication in all respects. The book, with excellent photos, is reasonably priced.