Shropshire’s cricketers raring to get going as they look forward to pre-season games

Shropshire’s cricketers will play two pre-season games at Wrekin College as they step up preparations ahead of the start of an eagerly awaited campaign.

The county will take on Worcestershire’s 2nd XI in a 50-over match this Sunday (11am) before also hosting Cardiff Met University in a Twenty20 match the following Sunday, April 15.

Bryan Jones, Shropshire’s chairman of selectors, said the team’s pre-season training sessions at Shrewsbury School’s Neville Cardus Indoor Cricket Centre had gone well.

The players are now looking forward to getting outside and facing strong opposition from first-class county Worcestershire.

Jones said: “It will generally be a Worcestershire second team, but it will probably be like last year when we played them when they also played some first teamers and players on the verge of breaking through.

“Kevin Sharp, our former player and coach, has now been promoted to first team coach at Worcestershire and it will be good to see him again.

“Worcestershire have been very helpful and are looking forward to coming.”

Jones added: “It will be a 50-over game played with a white ball and we’ll be picking our best available team ready to go into our one-day season.

“We’re due some better weather so hopefully we can get some good practice in. It’s all about building up to our first 50-over match in the Unicorns Trophy against Herefordshire at Whitchurch on April 29. Hopefully we can get through what we know will be a tough fixture and start the season with a bang.

“From talking to both captains, Steve Leach, who will again lead the side in the Unicorns Championship and Unicorns Trophy this season, and Will Parton, the captain of our new Twenty20 side, everyone is really excited about the new season with the different formats.

“Our young players have impressed in pre-season, so that’s really encouraging. Everyone is enthusiastic about the start of an exciting new season and looking forward to it.”

Jones stressed the opportunity to face Cardiff Met University the following Sunday afternoon would be ideal to help Shropshire prepare for the introduction of a new Unicorns T20 competition in which the county will play group games against Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Herefordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Shropshire, meanwhile, have also arranged to play an RAF Centenary XI in a special Twenty20 match at Oswestry Cricket Club on Friday, May 18 (4pm).

Jones said: “They approached us about playing a game and it will be a T20 match as part of the RAF’s 100 year celebrations and the local links with RAF Cosford and RAF Shawbury.”

Pictured: Wrekin College will host two pre-season matches for Shropshire on the next two Sundays.