Home victory the target for promising Shropshire all-rounder Charlie

Promising all-rounder Charlie Home, the latest member of his family to represent the county, is keen to help Shropshire claim their first victory of the season when they face Wales in the Unicorns Knockout Trophy at Oswestry on Sunday.

Home, who is in his final year at Wrekin College and has ambitions to become a professional cricketer, knows it’s important that Shropshire put some points on the board as they get ready for the third of four group games after opening the season with defeats against Staffordshire and Cheshire.

“We have a really strong side,” said Home, who plays his club cricket for Shifnal and is a member of Northamptonshire’s Academy. “I obviously haven’t played a lot of Minor Counties cricket so far and have not come up against Wales before, but from our perspective we have a talented group and if we get things right we will be hard to beat.

“We’ve shown in patches what we can do over the last couple of games. We got ourselves into a really good position to win against Cheshire, so moving forward we are keen to pull it all together.

“I’ve played at Oswestry a couple of times. I remember it always being a great wicket and a really nice place to play, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Home, pictured, comes from a real cricketing family as his dad, Ed, played for Shropshire, as did Jim, his grandfather. Guy, his uncle, is a former county captain, his cousin Tom also featured at Minor Counties level while Charlie’s sister, Milly, plays for the Shropshire women’s team.

Now Home, who lives in Newport and is currently preparing for his A-levels, is proud to be following in their footsteps having progressed to the first team from the Shropshire junior age group sides.

He said: “Dad’s come to watch the last couple of games and my uncle and grandfather came to watch the game at Shrewsbury, so we’re obviously all very passionate about Shropshire cricket.

‘’Karl Krikken and Bryan Jones gave me my debut at 16 and I have done the training with the squad over the last three winters.

“Hopefully, I should be available for the remaining one day games and the Championship matches, subject to any Northants second team commitments, and I’ll be looking to play as many as I can.

“I have played through the Shropshire junior age groups with Dillon Pennington and George Hargrave and it’s really nice that we have all progressed through to the senior side at the same time.”

A top order batsman – he’s batted at No 3 for both Shropshire and Shifnal in the early weeks of the season – Home, who captains the county’s development side, is also a talented off-spinner and claimed three wickets in Shropshire’s last match at Cheshire.

“I was pretty pleased with the way I bowled that day,” he said. “I’m also very grateful for being given the opportunity to bat at the top of the order.

“In the first two games, I’ve done a lot of the hard work but then not gone on, so I will be looking to piece it together and put in a performance that will really contribute for the team.”

It’s a busy time for Home as he juggles his cricket commitments with his exams, with the teenager admitting his ultimate dream is becoming the latest Shropshire player to carve out a career in the first-class game.

He struck his maiden century for Northamptonshire’s second team towards the end of the 2016 season.

He added: “I’ve been with Northants since I was 14 and playing professionally has been my ambition from a very young age.

“That’s what I want to do, so come the end of my exams the plan is to be based in Northampton during the week and play and train down there. Then this winter I hope to go to Australia for six months to play, so there’s lots to look forward to.”

The first ball will be bowled at Oswestry at 11am on Sunday and admission is free.