I was having a rummage around all things Somerset, this afternoon, as one does.
Visiting their Website I discovered something that had escaped me, hitherto.
Next year, in late June, Somerset host a T20 International between England and South Africa.
I have no particular axe to grind about this. Somerset are an enterprising club in possession of a lovely ground and a good bunch of loyal supporters. Moreover, their 20/20 domestic attendances can't be bettered - every match this season was a sell out.
South Africa, though, are very attractive opponents indeed, who would sell out any ground in the country with a 20,000 capacity. I was, initially puzzled as to why Somerset have been so favoured. It then occurred to me, cynic that I am, that perhaps the ECB have spotted an opportunity to influence the voting intentions of the Somerset club, in relation to the city 'franchise' proposals.
I would anticipate that Somerset would be in the vanguard of those clubs opposing this highly dangerous scheme. Perhaps they are and perhaps they will prove to be doughty opponents in the coming weeks. However, I'll be looking very closely for any indication that Somerset may have undergone a conversion to the ECB position.
Call me cynical but I wonder if the ECB might be attempting to 'buy off' one of their most influential potential opponents.
Seen as the news that Taunton was to host occasional international matches from 2017 onwards was announced as far back as December 2014, I think you may be reading too much into this.
http://m.somersetcountycc.co.uk/2014/12 ... qK1VQjY.97