Coach Krikken welcomes start of Championship campaign

Shropshire coach Karl Krikken is optimistic the start of the Unicorns Championship season this weekend will signal an upturn in the county’s fortunes.
The former Derbyshire wicketkeeper and coach, now into his second season at the Shropshire helm, is looking forward to the start of the county’s three-day campaign with the opening Championship clash against Cheshire getting under way at Whitchurch on Sunday.
Krikken firmly believes the three-day format should suit Shropshire more than one-day cricket. The county bowed out at the group stages of the Unicorns Trophy and also suffered an early exit from the new Unicorns T20 competition following a four-wicket defeat against Oxfordshire last Sunday.
Krikken said: “The one-dayers haven’t gone as we would have hoped, but we’ll fight another day. We always knew that three-day cricket was going to be our big suit.
“We had more success with Championship cricket last season and hopefully we can have even bigger successes this year.”
Krikken, whose side should be bolstered by the return of former Yorkshire duo Gurman Randhawa and Ben Sanderson, both absent for the Oxfordshire game, stressed the importance of a good start to build confidence.
“We’ve got to get into the three-day season quickly,” he insisted. “We had two poor games up front last year and then exploded for the next three, winning three on the bounce, and we had half a chance for the title going into the last game.
“I’ve said all along that it’s the holy grail, the three-dayers, and most of our preparation has been towards that.”
Krikken knows Shropshire will need to be at their best against Cheshire, a side which beat them in the Unicorns Trophy at Nantwich earlier this season.
He added: “Cheshire are always a strong side, so hopefully it should be a good game. It’s a local derby of sorts and we need to pull one back after they beat us in the one-dayer recently.”
The first ball will be bowled at Whitchurch on Sunday at 11am. Admission to the Heath Road ground is free on all three days.
 

Stuart Dunn