Shropshire face a must-win clash against Devon
Skipper Steve Leach is urging Shropshire CCC to keep their title dream alive at Devon – but admits they only have an outside chance.
A three-day game at Sandford starts tomorrow with Leach’s side sitting fifth in the Minor Counties Western Division.
They are six points behind fourth-placed Devon but a huge 32 adrift of table-toppers Berkshire.
And only a victory will give Shropshire any chance of remaining in the title race going into the final game at home to Wiltshire at Bridgnorth in two weeks.
“We have got an outside chance but realistically it’s in Berkshire’s hands,” said Leach.
“The weather helped us out in the last game and we are unbeaten (winning one and drawing three), but ultimately we’re not where we’d like to be in the league.
“I’ve said it before, the best team over six games wins the league and at the moment we are a long way off the pace.”
Shropshire will come up against former England wicketkeeper Chris Read in the clash.
Nottinghamshire skipper Read is set to play for Devon again – 20 years after he last represented his home county.
Read, who is 39 next month, is coming to the end of a long career with Nottinghamshire. He is retiring at the end of the season and taking up a post as director of cricket at Uppingham School in Rutland.
“It certainly adds a bit of extra spice to the game,” admitted Leach. “But that’s what we want as players, to play against established names.”
Bridgnorth skipper Sam Whitney will be handed his three-day county debut and Oswestry skipper Robbie Clarke is in the side for the first time this season.
But Knowle & Dorridge’s Jack Grundy will not now play, with Gurjit Sandhu coming in.
Shropshire: Steve Leach, captain (Shifnal), Robbie Clarke (Oswestry), Joe Carrasco (Oswestry), Tom Weston (Cuckfield), Jack McIver (Shifnal), James Ralph (Broseley), David Wainwright (Castleford), Sam Whitney (Bridgnorth), Simon Gregory (Bridgnorth), Gurjit Sandhu (Twickenham), Alex Wyatt (Shifnal).