Somerset v Yorkshire, Taunton, 1st day May 28, 2013

Rose's Somerset returns begs questions

Ivo Tennant at Taunton

Somerset v Yorkshire No play on day one due to rain

Brian Rose, Somerset's former director of cricket, will return to Taunton on Sunday in controversial circumstances as the county suffers one of its worst starts to the season for years in his absence.

Rose will to cut a ribbon around the gates to be named in his honour, following the accolade bestowed upon Joel Garner, Viv Richards and J. C. "Farmer" White. A worthy quartet, indeed, to be commemorated in ironwork.

But the departure of Rose at the end of last season after a succession of runners-up finishes is as yet not fully unexplained. Many Somerset supporters are increasingly questioning why he was shown the gate in the first place.

According to club chairman Andy Nash in his diary of last season, A year in the life of Somerset County Cricket Club through the eyes of its chairman, this is a "legend" of Somerset cricket. Indeed, Rose was the most successful captain in their history, before you add his impressive record running the first team in recent years - even though they became perennial runners-up.

Somerset have made an appalling start to this season as his replacement, the South African Dave Nosworthy, has inherited an ageing side and they were annihilated inside five sessions against Sussex last week.

Inevitably, there will be a member or two who on Sunday will tell Rose, or Nash, that this is a man who should never have left the club. Giles Clarke, now ECB chairman, brought him back to Taunton when in charge here and remains on good terms with him: Rose, indeed, is a guest at Clarke's 60th birthday party.

Would Rose have improved Somerset's overall game this season had he remained at the club? The players have not changed, apart from being a year older. Neither James Harris nor Rory Hamilton-Brown chose to come to Taunton, and, of course, Nick Compton's runs have been much missed owing to his absence with England.

Yet Rose was much liked and much respected. A man who could handle Richards and Ian Botham in their pomp. A man capable of inspiration. Since leaving last September, much lauded in the sunshine by Roy Kerslake, Somerset president, with a presentation in front of the Andy Caddick Pavilion, he was asked by Glamorgan to conduct an indepedent review.

As if to stifle suggestions of a Somerset return, the county has confirmed that he has been retained as a consultant for the remainder of the season.

Nash is a good man and a successful businessman. But given that Nash has not written about Rose's departure, the inevitable conclusion is that such a diary would be best left until he has stepped down from office. No-one is expecting him to dish any dirt - but some insight, some analysis, some detail of how this much-treasured cricket club is run, would be the prime expectation of any prospective purchaser of his book.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Brian on May 29, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    How very uncharacteristic of Rose not to come up with some interesting statement on this subject. I seem to remember that about 25 years ago, back in the days when Rose was Somerset captain, he came out with a quite remarkable declaration.

  • David on May 29, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Somerset has had a wonderful panoply of interesting and maverick players pass through its gate in the last 40 years - but its most unheralded has been Brian Rose. Put him in charge of the county, either as captain or as manager, and Somerset are one of the best in the country. Remove him, and they are one of the weakest. I'm appalled by the suggestion that he did not resign on his own volition last year.

  • Geoff on May 29, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Rose is the only man who can save us from relegation. Bring him back now.

  • Daniel on May 28, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    Rose departure was strange, but do Somerset have an ageing squad? Only four players aged 30 or over Trescothick, Thomas, Kirby and Trego.

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