A slightly bizarre sight was seen at the Taunton ground after Essex sealed the County Championship title after their final match of the season against Somerset on Thursday. While there was nothing unusual about the champagne throwing and the photo sessions by the Essex players after the match, what made the scene slightly unusual was a cardboard cutout of Peter Siddle hanging around.
Essex had a Peter Siddle cardboard cutout for the presentation. Fits in quite nicely up on the balcony. pic.twitter.com/0nYQU3vm3E
— Bradley Adams (@Bradley_Adams44) September 26, 2019
Siddle is an overseas player in Essex’s ranks, who was not part of the match on Thursday, having returned to Australia after the Ashes series. Siddle was part of Essex’s season till the Ashes series, with his wicket-taking performances on the County circuit having proved instrumental both in Essex’s glorious run in the season as well as Siddle’s inclusion in Australia’s Ashes squad.
Essex won the title after the final against Somerset ended in a draw, with Alastair Cook seeing Essex home, but a lot of the attention even after the match was on Somerset’s Trescothick, who many remember as the England opening partner Cook could have had for so many more years than he did.
Somerset, who were 12 points behind leaders Essex before the final game of the season, needed to win while the visitors only needed a draw to seal the title.
Brilliant touch @EssexCricket bringing the cardboard cut out of Peter Siddle for the trophy lift 😂😂😂🏆🦅
— Dog (@scottdogconway) September 26, 2019
Needing to take 10 wickets with time running out, Somerset forfeited their second innings for another crack at Essex’s batsmen, who needed 63 to win the match. However, Cook stood strong once again with an unbeaten 30 to deny Somerset a fairytale ending. With less than 10 minutes left in the day’s play, the two teams agreed to end the match as a draw as Essex won the title by 11 points.
Marcus Trescothick of Somerset, who had announced that he would retire at the end of the season, was given a guard of honour at the end of the match and it was him who led the teams off the field.