Shropshire to open NCCA Trophy group fixtures against Suffolk at Oswestry on Sunday

Shropshire open their National Counties Cricket Association Trophy campaign against Suffolk at Oswestry CC on Sunday (11am).

Shropshire will also host Cheshire in the 50-over competition at Wem on Sunday, June 19, with the county facing away matches in Group Three of the One Day Trophy against Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

The top two sides in the group will progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Sam Whitney, who is vice-captain to skipper Graham Wagg. “We’ve played some really good cricket at Oswestry in the past and every time I’ve played there with Shropshire it’s been quite a high-scoring ground.”

Whitney highlighted the role played by the experienced Wagg and he’s also encouraged by the emergence of Andre Bradford, one of a number of promising players to be handed first-team debuts during Shropshire’s group matches in the NCCA T20 competition earlier this season.

Bradford struck 230 runs in the competition, including three half-centuries, and averaged 46.

“Waggy can be so explosive with the bat and he can just change a game at any stage,” said Whitney.

“Every time that Andre’s batted he seems to have got runs, so I’m excited to see what he can do in the longer format for Shropshire after he did well in the T20 matches.”

Shropshire will select from a squad of 12, with opening batter Michael Robinson, who joined Whitchurch at the start of the season, returning to the squad for the first time since playing in the county’s first two T20 fixtures of the season against Cheshire in April.

Shrewsbury seamer Luke Thornton, having made his first-team debut in Shropshire’s final two T20 group games against Northumberland last month, is also included in the squad.

Suffolk, this weekend’s opponents, beat Norfolk by nine wickets in their opening group game in the Trophy last Sunday.

Essex opener Nick Browne top scored with an unbeaten 90, sharing an unbroken second-wicket stand of 149 with Ben Claydon, who was 80 not out.

Browne, who is available to Suffolk on a dual registration, regularly opens for Essex in the County Championship.

Admission is free for spectators to attend Sunday’s match, with parking available at the nearby Marches School, which is also free. Parking at the ground is limited to players and officials only.

There will be bar facilities and food outlets at the ground, while scorecards, which include an eight-page match programme, are available priced £2.

Shropshire, from: Graham Wagg (Wem, captain), Sam Whitney (Bridgnorth), Andre Bradford (Swarkestone), Matty Simmonds (Bridgnorth), Ryan Lockley (Bridgnorth), Ben Lees (Bridgnorth), Ben Roberts (Bridgnorth), Charlie Walker (Bridgnorth), Martin Boyle (Madeley), Michael Robinson (Whitchurch), Luke Thornton (Shrewsbury), James Shaw (Sentinel).

Pictured: Oswestry Cricket Club hosts Shropshire’s opening National Counties Trophy group game of the season against Suffolk on Sunday.