16 July 2023

Jason Kerr hails Somerset resilience after second Vitality Blast title

16 July 2023

Head coach Jason Kerr marvelled at Somerset’s resilience as they ended a string of near misses in the Vitality Blast to claim the title for a second time.

Since their maiden triumph 18 years ago, Somerset had endured seven fruitless trips to Finals Day – including 2021 and 2022 – but at the eighth attempt on Saturday night, they finally landed silverware.

Kerr, who has been at Somerset since 2005 and took up his current post nearly six years ago, insisted he was always convinced they would end the drought if they kept giving themselves an opportunity.

They have been the best side in the competition this year, losing just twice in 17 matches and successfully defending sub-150 scores at Edgbaston to defeat Surrey then Essex to get over the line.

“We’ve been building as a side,” Kerr said. “We’ve been to Finals Day for the last three years, and last year we didn’t turn up at all.

“We didn’t do ourselves justice, so I was adamant that we were going to do that this year.

“After last year’s final, (opening batter) Tom Banton spoke brilliantly in the dressing room and said that if we keep putting ourselves in this position, then we’ll get over the line.

“We pride ourselves on keeping putting ourselves in this position, so eventually you have to get over the line. When you win 15 out of 17 games, you deserve to lift the trophy at the end of the campaign.”

If we can keep this team together, we'll only get better

Somerset have now landed both domestic limited-overs competitions under Kerr – having won the One-Day Cup in 2019 – but their ‘nearly men’ tag is still there in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

They have been runners-up on six occasions this century – and were second in the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020 – while they are now fifth in Division One, 41 points behind leaders Surrey with six games left.

But Kerr will keep pushing to deliver for their fanbase and is confident they can continue on an upward trajectory with the players they have.

“To get over the line is just reward for a lot of people,” Kerr added. “We are incredibly passionate as a club – we’re followed immensely.

“They’re incredibly passionate and want us to win every single game that we play, which isn’t realistic, but they’re the expectations that we’ve set ourselves.

“We’ve ticked off two of the three now, so just one to go. If we can keep this team together, we’ll only get better.”

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