About the club

Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club compete in the BCEW National League. The club plays each other county once and competes against eight counties. The visually impaired cricket club play their home games at Wombats CC in Bishops Lydeard. Matches are played with a larger ball (size of a handball) that makes a sound and the wickets are larger. Each player much be registered blind or partially sighted. Each player is then placed into one of four sight categories. The team is then made up of different sight categories, with no more than two players from the high partial category.

For any questions about Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club Contact – somersetvicricket@gmail.com

Get involved

Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club are a friendly and sociable club who are always looking for new players.. The club have an open training session during the spring, where new players are welcome to come along and try the game.

The Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club was officially formed in 2011, after a successful trial through 2010 ensured that there were enough players interested to create the team. Despite being a very young club the team have gone on to achieve a number of successes in the past 14 seasons.

All players must be registered as blind or partially sighted and, as the playing rules vary according to the sight classification of each individual player, players must be further classified under BCEW’s Sight Classification Procedures set out as Part A of its Regulations. Each player must be placed in one of four sight categories which must be declared on the club’s team sheet and designated on the field by the wearing of an appropriately coloured wristband, Purple or black for totals, yellow for low partials, green for mid partials and red for high partials.

For full details, please visit the ECB’s Blind Cricket website.

Somerset VICC 2023 Season Review

Report by Kathryn Jelfs-White

A great year if you’re an umbrella seller, not if you’re a cricketer!

A mixed year for Somerset’s Visually Impaired team. Sadly relegated for the first time from National League One, but many excellent individual performances earning awards and nominations and international honours for four players.

The year began late due to inclement weather and rail strikes with a London double header against Metro in late May. The first game against Sussex failing to be rearranged. The Saturday saw a league defeat by 133 runs but Sunday brought an impressive four wicket win in the T20 Cup last 16 as they looked to defend their title. Rob Crisp top scored with 55 and took 2-16.

Familiar faces then descended upon the We(s)tcountry as Metro looked for a league double. The home side were confident of revenge as the eventual champions were skittled out for 147. But the rain had the last laugh as the match lost 21 overs and despite playing with the required tempo and flair, Somerset couldn’t chase down the total in the 13 over allotted despite Rob’s efforts of 60* and taking 3-16 this time.

Another heavy defeat loomed as they took to the road again to face savvy Sussex who romped to 279/5 declared and Somerset fell at 148 still with five overs to even hold out for a draw.

Back on home soil as the sun finally shone in late June and Somerset put on a competitive 227/8 declared leaving 30 overs to bowl Lancashire out. Ten player Lions only had one thing on their minds; to escape the beautiful surroundings of Bishops Lydeard with a draw. They dug in and accomplished their target at 85/8 despite Captain Ed bagging a brilliant 5-5 but they just couldn’t knock over that last elusive wicket!

On to the 30 over cup quarter final at Kent – Somerset have been regular finalists but the trophy still eludes. Kent could only field 8 players and were all out for 61 with Ed at his miserly best taking 3-1.

On to the semi-final at Northants where Somerset would put on a stonking total of 328 without loss off 25 overs – Ed on 158 and Rob on 112 – the fourth best partnership in the domestic game’s history. Surely that would be enough? Alas, you can guess can’t you? Yes the heavens opened and Somerset could not finish their incredible innings. Law books were consulted and there was much humming and hawing at an early tea. Ever sporting Somerset offered every idea under the much missed sun to try to finish the game but the groundsman needed to protect his pitch and the only option was a bowl out on the edge of the square. Northamptonshire finally found form with the wet ball when they need it the most and won in sudden death but had the good grace to take their victory humbly and almost apologetically.

A proud moment for the club came in August when Somerset sent four representatives to the IBSA World Blind Games in Birmingham – the first on home soil and the debut of cricket at the international event. Not only two players each in England’s men’s (Ed Hossell and Rory Hossell) and women’s team (Kathryn Jelfs-White and Heidi Linegar) but the captain of both to boot! Sadly neither Ed’s or Kathryn’s teams made it to the Final at Edgbaston but both beat Australia in their tough competitions finishing fifth of six and third of three respectively.

Unfortunately, prestige came with penalties as due to missing their internationals, illness and injury, a team could not be put together to travel to Lancashire for the relegation decider so the home team took the full point haul to keep the North West side up and send the South West side down.

Back at home and in cup action again and Ed and Rob’s phenomenal form continued as Somerset knocked off Northant’s score (157/3) in under 15 overs to secure a spot at Finals Day again in Wolverhampton.

But this year they had to relinquish their trophy as they drew Sussex in the semi-final who won by only six runs in a very tense and hard fought game. The third-fourth play-off was a bit of a damp squib as Surrey had taken too many knocks in their semi against Lancashire and batting first against Somerset and could not take to the field. Somerset had them at 121/8 off 16.5 with Ed taking 4-7 and B1 Albert Jordaan (also of Regional League neighbours Dorset) bagging 2-12 when their top batsman pulled up and had to retire leading to the management conceding that discretion is the better part of valour and saving their players from further injury.

After Sussex claimed the title the awards were handed out in Wolverhampton CC’s bustling bar as players of all four teams and the officials rehydrated. Here is where the season’s disappointments were ameliorated somewhat.

BCEW Partially Sighted Player of the Year: Ed Hossell

Nominee: Rob Crisp

BCEW Womens Player of the Year Nominees: Heidi Linegar and Kathryn Jelfs-White

BCEW Low Partial Player of the Year Nominee: Alan Mabey

BCEW Partially Sighted Bowler of the year Nominees: Ed Hossell and Rob Crisp

BCEW Total Batter of the Year: Adrian Snellgrove

BCEW Partially Sighted Batter of the Year Nominees: Ed Hossell and Rob Crisp

BCEW Most Promising Player of the Year: Rob Crisp

Nominee: Michael Contreras

BCEW Wicketkeeper of the Year Nominee: Heidi Linegar

BCEW Partially Sighted Fielder of the Year Nominee: Ed Hossell

These results at least make pleasant reading as Somerset VI are fourth in the club leader board with 18 awards and Ed sits atop of the individual rankings with 9 gongs to his name. Let’s see what 2024 brings with a new division to hopefully dominate and cups to try to claim.

Find out more

Growth in the game

With the increasing growth in participation of cricket amongst disabled people, there is an ever growing need for supporting resources for coaches and volunteers in order to coach cricket.

This video is aimed at coaches who are already active, however may be new to working with Visually Impaired cricketers. We hope that the resources prove useful in your work within disabled cricket and provide you with the necessary support to deliver fun and effective cricket coaching!

Fixtures

Date
Home team
Away Team
27th  April (League)
Surrey VICC
Somerset
11th May (Cup)
Somerset
Yorkshire Vikings
12th May (League)
Somerset
Yorkshire Vikings
15th June (League)
Somerset
Surrey VICC
7th July (League)
Somerset
Kent Spitfires
13th July (Cup) depending on 11th May result
Somerset
Lancashire
27th July (T20)
Yorkshire/Lancashire
Somerset
17th August (league)
Yorkshire Vikings
Somerset

Training details

Training takes place on a  Saturday morning at Castle School, Taunton, from 11am – 12.30pm on:

20 April

4, 25 May

1, 8, 22 June