After our final match of the season against Nottinghamshire, Chris Rogers announced that he was retiring from cricket.
That announcement brought to an end a glittering career and also meant that his year long stay at the Cooper Associates County Ground was over.
Before he returned home we caught up with him to look back on what has been a dramatic season.
Chris Rogers on Somerset County Cricket Club:
“It’s a lot different to every other club that I’ve played for. I always thought that it was a great Club and that has definitely not changed. There’s so much to like about this place and the amount of support Somerset gets is incredible. The talent that’s coming through is really exciting and everyone here should be proud of that.”
Chris Rogers on the 2016 campaign:
“In reflection I think that we’ve done better than we expected. Obviously the NatWest T20 Blast wasn’t quite what we would have wanted but the Royal London One-Day Cup and Specsavers County Championship were fantastic. I thought we were brilliant in the four-day stuff to be honest, particularly the momentum we generated at the back end of the season. I think that momentum will stand the Club in good stead for the future. There was so much confidence among the players and I expect them to play well again next season. It’s been a fantastic last year for me personally and it’s been really enjoyable.”
Chris Rogers on his captaincy:
“I said at the beginning that I didn’t want to change too much. What Marcus and Matt had created was certainly moving in the right direction, so it was just a case of adding my beliefs. The guys responded pretty well to trying to play a slightly different style of cricket than they were used to. I’m probably much more impatient than most people and that was reflected in bowling changes and field settings and things like that. If the young guys go on to play interbnational cricket, they’ll find out that it’s not an easy ride and they need to be able to make it count every single time. Hopefully that’s something that I’ve instilled in them over the course of the year. It was about getting the guys to show what they had and finding the confidence to express themselves both on and off the pitch.
Chris Rogers on Somerset’s young talent:
“Jack Leach certainly announced himself on the scene as one to watch to the point where a lot of people were disappointed that he didn’t get in to the full England squad for Bangladesh. The Overton’s have always had a lot of excitement about them and they both made decent strides this year. They have all the talent in the world and they’re still learning. Then Dom Bess came along and he’s already making a bit of a name for himself. In Lewis Gregory, Tom Abell and Ryan Davies Somerset have got three players who really could go all the way.”
Chris Rogers on “the Old Boys”:
“Marcus is such an admirable character. I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him and even more so now that I’ve been in the changing room with him. His love of the game infects everybody else as well and that’s such a great attribute to have. At stages this year James Hildreth was as good as anybody in the competition and his innings against Notts with a fractured ankle was just exceptional. I’m really pleased for Peter Trego too. He was very keen to make it work with the bat. I think that he batted at seven in the first game and then approached me and said that he would like to bat higher and in the end he got 1000 runs batting at six which is actually a wonderful achievement. Not many people will pass 1000 runs from six and I think that he was instrumental in a lot of our success this year.”
“Jim Allenby also did some exceptional things at times particularly with the ball. As a captain is was fantastic to be able to give him the responsibility to get the job done. Probably the highlight for me this year was Tim Groenewald. I played with him at Derbyshire and I remember what he was like back then and to come here and see him at the top of his game was special. Every time I threw him the ball he made something happen. He was absolutely brilliant and I know just how hard he has strived to make a success of his career so I am really pleased for him.”
Chris Rogers on the Somerset supporters:
“I’m not sure that they had a lot of love for me after the Middlesex declaration and that’s fair enough. In the end though I’d like to think that they came around and saw the way that I wanted the side to play. I wanted them to play without fear and to be prepared to lose in order to win games. To have a standing ovation after the last game just says so much about these supporters. There’s so many of them too! I don’t think there’s any other club that has so many people through the gates in four-day cricket and that’s just exceptional. The support was immense all season. I was standing in the field during the last game and I just didn’t want it to end because the atmosphere was so incredible.”
Chris Rogers on what happens next:
“A bit of media back home and then possibly I’ll look at getting in to coaching. We’ll just see how it goes. I don’t want to jump in to anything too soon and I’ll probably just enjoy myself a little bit.”