STAND-in skipper Jigar Naik has urged Dorset to embrace the challenge of taking on a star-studded Somerset in their t20 friendly at North Perrott today (5pm).

The former Leicestershire player insists it is an “honour” to take on the captaincy for the clash with Chris Park unavailable for the showpiece event.

Dorset’s leading wicket taker with 28 victims across all formats this season said: “It was a little bit of a shock to be honest because I didn’t expect it.

“It’s an honour after only a few games playing for Dorset to take on the role and bring on the youngsters.

“It’s something that, for me, shows they are backing me all the way. In my time at Dorset they have made me feel really welcome.”

Naik has good memories of taking on Somerset in the game’s shortest format.

He was a member of the Leicestershire team which beat Somerset in the final of the 2011 domestic t20 competition by 18 runs at Edgbaston.

Both Somerset’s James Hildreth and Peter Trego played in that game and are again set to go head-to-head with 32-year-old Naik.

Asked for his memories of that day, he said: “It was absolutely phenomenal. On finals day itself, both semi-finals went to a super over, which is unheard of.

“My heart was pumping every second I was on that pitch. To win it and take it on from there and go on to the Champions League was such a great experience.

“They are the moments you live for and you play cricket for.”

Somerset, winners of the English t20 competition in 2005 and three times runners-up, also include big-hitting New Zealand international Corey Anderson.

Naik added: “The (Somerset) squad was put up on one of the Whatsapp groups and I just said we don’t have to worry about it and take it as it goes.

“If you get hit for a six, you get hit for a six. There is nothing you can do about it, especially in this day and age where boundaries are getting smaller and bats are getting bigger. We just have to embrace it.

“Somerset reach finals day quite a lot and have their full-strength squad out. It’s a great opportunity for the Dorset youngsters to put their hands up and see what that level is all about.

“We have nothing to lose and Somerset will have all the pressure. We are not expected to win but, hopefully, we will give them a good run.”

Bashley batsman Tom Jacques is set to come in for his first game of the season, there are also returns for leg-spinner Jem Warner, batsman Luke Matthews and all-rounders Josh Digby and Simon Woodruff.

Dorset: (from) Whorlow, Jacques, Matthews, Ellis, Eckland, Woodruff, Naik, Wolstenholme, Digby, Hayman, Warner, Nichols.

Somerset: (from) Allenby, Myburgh, Davies, Trego, Hose, Hildreth, Anderson, R Van de Merwe, Gregory, C Overton, Davey, Groenewald, Waller.