Alje Richardson is thrilled to have realised his dream of leading Somerset into battle on the cricket pitch after being appointed as captain of the club’s league team.

The 25-year-old batter has taken over the reins from all-rounder Jordan DeSilva and is looking forward to serving in his new leadership role.

“It’s kind of surreal and I had not made my wishes clear to everyone as I have been coming up through Somerset, so not many people knew that I wanted the captaincy,” Richardson told The Royal Gazette.

“I have been at this club most of my life so to be able to look over it now is nice and it’s a great feeling.”

The son of Somerset coach and former club Cup Match player Jeff Richardson will make his debut as captain of Somerset’s league team in their Premier Division 50 overs season-opener against champions Bailey’s Bay at Sea Breeze Oval tomorrow.

“It’s going to be my first official game and for it to be against Bay I think that’s definitely a great start to my career as captain of Somerset,” Richardson added. “I am excited and looking forward to it, and it does make it a lot more special.”

Somerset received a bye in the opening round of the competition and had their second round West End derby fixture against tenants Willow Cuts postponed due to the unavailability of their grounds, but the wait is now over with Richardson excited to finally get their season under way.

“Everyone is really excited to play our first game,” Richardson said. “It has been a while and everyone has been eager because every other team except for Willow Cuts has played their first game at least.

“We have been training hard and everyone is ready and looking forward to playing Bay.”

Richardson is feeling good about his team’s chances for success against a Bay side who have made a poor start to their title defence after losing their opening two fixtures against Western Stars and Eastern Counties rivals St David’s.

“Last season we should have beaten them every time we played them, so we are looking to do it this time around,” he added.

The remaining Premier 50 overs matches on Sunday will feature St David’s hosting fellow unbeaten side St George’s at Lord’s, while Cleveland who are still in search of their first win of the season, host Western Stars at Wellington Oval.

Willow Cuts, who have yet to get their season underway, have a bye.

In the First Division, unbeaten Warwick take on the Bermuda Under-19 team at Southampton Oval today, with fellow unbeaten side PHC hosting Flatts at PHC Field. Somerset Bridge square off against Western Counties rivals Southampton Rangers at White Hill Field in tomorrow’s remaining second-tier fixtures.

Devonshire Rec have the weekend off.