Promising Shropshire youngsters handed chance to impress in Herefordshire friendly

A number of Shropshire’s promising young cricketers are handed the chance to impress in Sunday’s 50-over friendly against Herefordshire at Oswestry (11am start).

Director of Cricket John Abrahams is looking forward to seeing them in action after being encouraged by the potential of the county’s up and coming players during internal squad matches at Whitchurch and Oswestry in recent weeks.

The Herefordshire match is the first of the fixtures arranged by Shropshire against other clubs following the National Counties Cricket Association announcement that no competitive cricket would be played this season.

Abrahams said: “The T20 match at Whitchurch and 50-over game at Oswestry have painted informative pictures for us.

“Having previously just worked with the players indoors, it is more realistic to see them playing on grass out in the middle.

“The players are recognising areas that are really good and areas that also potentially need addressing.

“We find ourselves in a good place in that we have some experienced players and some exciting young talent.

“Hopefully with the experience of playing this summer and hopefully next summer as well, we will improve and develop.”

Charlie Home, the former Shifnal all-rounder now playing his club cricket for Wolverhampton, will captain the county this weekend after impressing with his leadership qualities.

Abrahams said: “Charlie was identified during the winter as one of our leadership group, one of the natural leaders, and he handled that pretty well.

“As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy with us being in lockdown, but Charlie, along with the other three members of the leadership group, helped to keep communication and team spirit going, and helped to keep togetherness with the players despite us not seeing each other at the time.”

Bridgnorth’s Ben Lees and Wem’s Harry Chandler will share wicketkeeping duties against Herefordshire, with Sunday’s fixture to be a 12-a-side match with a nominated non-batsman from each team.

Abrahams added: “The matches that have been arranged over the next few weeks are a massive bonus for myself, Jason Weaver, Ian Roe and the selectors to be observing.

“I would like to thank the committee, particularly chairman John Hulme and secretary Richard Lees, for their efforts once the NCCA decided there wasn’t going to be any official competitions played this season.

“Thanks also to Whitchurch and Oswestry for hosting the practice matches and looking after us so well.”

Spectators are welcome to watch Sunday’s match, with admission free. Social distancing must be adhered to at all times.

Bar and toilet facilities will be available, but the use of Oswestry’s club car park at the ground is restricted to players and officials only.

Shropshire team: Harry Chandler (Wem), James Kinder (Bridgnorth), Charlie Home (Wolverhampton, captain), Xavie Clarke (Shifnal), Simon Gregory (Bridgnorth), Matty Simmonds (Bridgnorth), Ben Lees (Bridgnorth), Tyler Ibbotson (Shrewsbury), Sam Ellis (Shrewsbury), Sam Baugh (Bridgnorth), Ryan Wheldon (Quatt), Ben Roberts (Oswestry).

Pictured: Charlie Home will captain Shropshire in Sunday’s friendly against Herefordshire at Oswestry.