Shropshire’s Academy side have five matches to look forward to later this season as the county’s promising young cricketers are handed an opportunity to impress.
Two 50 overs per side friendlies have been arranged against Cheshire’s Development XI, with other matches lined up against Staffordshire’s Development XI, Herefordshire’s Development XI and a Shropshire County Cricket League under-21 Invitation XI.
Shropshire will face Cheshire’s Development XI at Ellesmere College on Friday, July 2.
Staffordshire’s Development XI will provide the opposition at Wrekin College on Friday, July 16, with the same venue hosting Shropshire against Herefordshire’s Development XI the following Friday, July 23.
Shropshire will take on Cheshire’s Development XI once again, this time at Newport Cricket Club’s Audley Avenue ground, on Friday, July 30.
The final fixture of the season will see Shropshire’s Academy team play against a Shropshire County Cricket League under-21 Invitation XI at Whitchurch Cricket Club’s Heath Road ground on Sunday, September 5.
Head of Academy Ian Roe said: “We have stayed as local as we can with our opposition this year and we always enjoy our contests against our neighbours.
“We are also pleased to have arranged a fixture against a Shropshire County Cricket League Under-21 side at Whitchurch.
“If our scouts or selectors have missed out on anyone during the summer, this will provide the opportunity to have a look at them first hand in a representative game.”
The Shropshire Academy side continues to play an important role in the development of the county’s young cricketers as they push for a place in Shropshire’s first team squad.
“We are hoping to look at some new players during these five fixtures,” said Roe.
“What we have always tried to achieve – and we are really starting to see it come to fruition now – is that lads are coming through from the academy side and having a role to play in the first team squad.
“Charlie Home, Ben Lees, Matty Simmonds and Sam Ellis, who have all recently played for the academy, played in the opening NCCA Trophy group match of the season against Northumberland at Oswestry last month.
“The likes of Joe Carrasco, Ross Aucott and Ryan Lockley, who also played in that game, have also come through our player pathway, from playing for Shropshire Cricket Board age group sides and then progressing to the first team.
“This is what we are trying to continue, the pathway of playing cricket for the county.”
Shropshire’s Academy took part in the Bryan Foulkes Twenty20 Cup at Shrewsbury School in April, with Bridgnorth’s Matty Simmonds captaining the side in matches against Cheshire’s Development XI and Shrewsbury School.
Pictured: Shropshire Academy cricketers line up in their training kit sponsored by NBC Group, with the side joined in this photograph by Brad Thornton, front left, the NBC Group’s head of purchasing, and company director Peter Thornton.