Shropshire looking forward to Worcestershire CCC XI challenge at Bridgnorth on Sunday

Xavier Clarke and Sam Ellis will make their first appearances of the season for Shropshire in Sunday’s 50-over friendly against a Worcestershire County Cricket Club XI at Bridgnorth.

Harry Chandler and David Laird also return to the 12 selected by Shropshire as the county look to build on last weekend’s impressive performance against a Lancashire CCC XI at Whitchurch.

Shropshire’s Director of Cricket John Abrahams said: “We know it will be a test and a challenge for our players on Sunday.

“We were lucky enough to be able to play a Worcestershire XI twice last season and we are pleased they have agreed to play us again.

“From last year’s fixtures we know that they will provide strong opposition with some promising players.

“Ben Lees and Ben Parker, who both played for Shropshire last weekend, will be playing for Worcestershire on Sunday, so it’s good that we will be able to observe them in another match.”

This will be Shropshire’s third friendly of the season, with the matches arranged to help the county prepare for the start of their NCCA Trophy campaign.

The opening group game is against Northumberland at Oswestry on May 30.

Abrahams said: “Despite it being a fairly young squad, it is a very capable squad and all the players deserve an opportunity to show us what they can do in a performance environment.”

Abrahams is looking forward to seeing batsman Clarke and seamer Ellis play for Shropshire for the first time this season.

He added: “Xavier Clarke’s been busy playing for Shifnal in the Birmingham League knockout competition over the last few Sundays, while Sam Ellis has been playing for the Leeds/Bradford MCCU team, but he’s available this weekend.

“The match will also provide the selectors with the opportunity to see Ryan Lockley in a specialist wicketkeeping role should that be required later in the season.”

Both Shropshire and Worcestershire are selecting 12 players for Sunday’s game (11am start), with a nominated non-batsman, while both sides will be able to rotate players in the field.

Entry to Sunday’s match is restricted to club officials/volunteers organising on and/or off field activities, those attending for hospitality – where available – subject to following Bridgnorth’s and the government’s guidance, and a parent, suitable adult or carer attending in a supervisory role for an under-18 player. Government guidance states no other spectators should be present.

Shropshire team: Will Parton (Shrewsbury), Harry Chandler (Wem), Charlie Home (Wolverhampton), Xavier Clarke (Shifnal), Ross Aucott (New Farnley), Graham Wagg (Biddestone, captain), Ryan Lockley (Oswestry), Matty Simmonds (Bridgnorth), David Laird (Oswestry), Sam Ellis (Formby), Sam Whitney (Bridgnorth), Ben Roberts (Oswestry).

Pictured: Bridgnorth hosts Shropshire’s 50-over friendly against a Worcestershire XI on Sunday.