Mike Barnard makes a welcome return for Shropshire’s opening game of the new season

Shrewsbury opening bowler Mike Barnard, pictured, will make a welcome return to the Shropshire side for Sunday’s opening match of the season, a Unicorns Trophy first round clash with Herefordshire at Whitchurch.

It will be Barnard’s first appearance for the county since playing in the 2013 MCCA Trophy final when Shropshire lost to Berkshire at Wormsley. He moved away from the area owing to work commitments later that year.

Bryan Jones, Shropshire’s chairman of selectors and a former county team mate of Mike’s dad Andy, said: “We’re really pleased to have Mike back involved. He’s arguably one of the best bowlers in the Birmingham League and has been a big part of the success Shrewsbury have enjoyed over the years.”

Shropshire will hand a debut to former Worcestershire star Alexei Kervezee, their most recent addition.

Shrewsbury’s Dillon Pennington, who starred with the ball for England at the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January and has since been awarded his first professional contract by Worcestershire, is also included.

“We’re really pleased with the balance of the side,” added Jones.

Admission is free for spectators to enjoy Sunday’s 50-over contest, with the first ball to be bowled at Whitchurch at 11am.

Shropshire: Steve Leach (Shifnal, captain), Will Parton (Shrewsbury), Omar Ali (C&R Hawks), Alexei Kervezee (Halesowen), Ross Aucott (Shifnal), Simon Gregory (Bridgnorth), Dillon Pennington (Shrewsbury), Sam Whitney (Bridgnorth), Gurjit Sandhu (Twickenham), Mike Barnard (Shrewsbury), Alex Wyatt (Shifnal). 12th man: Jack Twigger (Wellington).