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Ben looking forward to the challenge ahead

Somerset begin the defence of the Royal London Cup on Sunday when we welcome Derbyshire to the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Ben Green will captain the side during the competition, and we caught up with him to find out how preparation is going.

“Paul Tweddle and I have had a number of meetings so that we can put together what we need to do to be effectively prepared for the competition,” he said. “We had huge success in this format in 2019 and there are a lot of elements from that which we can transfer to this campaign. Obviously, the personnel will be different, but we have a good mixture of experience and youth. It’s an exciting squad and we have a good blend of individuals who can make this a successful team. If everyone knows their role and trusts in their game, then we will be in a good place.

“I’ve known Paul since my Academy days. He’s an incredibly calming influence and that will serve him well as a Head Coach. He’s an incredibly accomplished coach and everything he says has a real purpose to it.”

How important will the Royal London Cup be for Somerset’s current crop of young talent?

“The benefits of this competition will be twofold for the younger players,” he explained. “Firstly, they will get to play alongside the likes of James Hildreth, Steve Davies and Jack Brooks, who have played a lot of cricket. They will definitely learn a lot from those guys. Secondly, they will be playing against some of the best players in the country. There are a lot of very good players involved in this year’s Royal London Cup. It’s going to be a real challenge for the younger guys, but the character of the young players that we have here means that they will embrace it and get stuck in.”

What will be Somerset’s key to success?

“The key for us is going to be having composure. We’ve shown that in the Vitality Blast. When we’ve shown composure, we’ve been able to take the game deep and get the result. There’s so much more time in 50-over cricket than you think. You don’t have to do it all in one over, you need to patient with the bat and the ball.”

Does being the defending champions bring extra pressure?

“Not many first-time captains get the chance to retain a cup and we definitely have the squad to win it. We just need to execute our game plans and perform in the way that we know we can. If we can do that, I’m sure we’ll be up there challenging.

“I like the fact that 50-over cricket gives batters time to build an innings and bowlers have to work really hard for their wickets.

“Captaining Somerset is the pinnacle of South West cricket. It’s the biggest honour you can offer someone and I’m incredibly proud. I’m just going to try and be myself. People will see through you if you try and change your character, and they won’t trust you. I’ve had a few chats with Tom Abell and Lewis Gregory, and I’m going to trust in my own character. Hopefully, the lads will trust in me.”

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