Shropshire’s Twenty20 captain Will Parton excited about the start of new competition this weekend

Will Parton believes Shropshire have the talent to make an impact in the new Twenty20 competition for Minor Counties clubs ahead of this weekend’s opening games.

Parton, who will captain the side, leads Shropshire against Berkshire at Wargrave on Sunday before a home match against Oxfordshire at Shrewsbury, his home club ground, 24 hours later on Bank Holiday Monday (both 11am starts).

Shropshire will also play group games against Herefordshire at Colwall on May 27 and Buckinghamshire at Whitchurch on June 17.

The group winners will progress to the Unicorns Counties Twenty20 Finals Day at Wormsley in August.

Each matchday will see Shropshire play two separate T20 games against their opponents, with points awarded to the winners.

Shrewsbury batsman Parton is looking forward to the new competition and said he’s proud to have been appointed Shropshire’s T20 skipper.

“It was a big honour to be asked,” he said. “A couple of years ago when I was in and out of the side, I probably wouldn’t have thought that I would be asked to do it, but after working on my game, it’s nice to have the recognition.

“It’s a good weekend of cricket to look forward to and there’s a lot of cricket with four games, but the win against Herefordshire in the Unicorns Trophy last Sunday gives us good momentum going into these matches.

“Berkshire are a strong side and did the double last year, but T20 cricket is a completely different game and there’s not really anything to go on, any past experience with any of these teams.

“Then we’ve got Oxfordshire at Shrewsbury on Monday and it will be nice to play somewhere familiar like London Road.”

Parton feels Twenty20 cricket – he welcomes its addition to this year’s fixture list – can bring out the best in many members of the Shropshire squad, with the county planning to take 13 players down to Berkshire for the opening group games.

He said: “After his innings last Sunday, I think Omar Ali is going to have a huge part to play. He led C&R Hawks to the final of the national Twenty20 club championship last year and was one of the top scorers in that competition, so the format really suits him.

“We’ve got some big hitters in the side like Alexei Kervezee, who will be able to play a big part, while the likes of Ross Aucott and Simon Gregory, it fits into their game really well.

“But I think everyone proved against Herefordshire that they can bat a bit down the order, so everyone is bound to have a part to play with the bat.”

Pictured: Will Parton will skipper Shropshire in the new Unicorns Counties Twenty20 competition which gets under way this weekend.