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Shropshire spots up for grabs, insists skipper Steve Leach

Cricket | Published:

Skipper Steve Leach insists there are places up for grabs as Shropshire step up preparations for the new season.

Steve Leach

Indoor training sessions have begun at Shrewsbury School under the guidance of former Worcestershire paceman Paul Pridgeon.

Shropshire’s first competitive match of the 2018 season is a Unicorns Trophy first round tie against Herefordshire at Whitchurch’s Heath Road ground on Sunday, April 29.

Leach, a consistent opening batsman, added that he’s encouraged by the continued development of several of the county’s promising cricketers and insisted places are always available for in-form players to break into the side.

“There’s a couple of very promising young players,” he said. “Six months in terms of their development is a long time and you can see that several of those guys have been training very hard over the winter and they are really good prospects.

“If they start the season well they have as good a chance as anyone of getting in our first team.

“There’s places up for grabs at the start of every season and those first three or four Birmingham League games are going to be all important. Realistically, there’s always going to be two or three places up for grabs depending on form, and some of the young players are really catching the eye at the moment.”

Shropshire’s next two sessions will focus on white ball practice ahead of the launch of a new Unicorns T20 competition this season.

Shrewsbury batsman Will Parton will captain Shropshire’s T20 side in a group which will see them face Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Herefordshire and Buckinghamshire.

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Parton said: “There will be some white ball Twenty20 practice, death batting, death bowling. That’s Pridge’s aim for the next couple of sessions, which I think is important because a lot of the lads might not be as experienced as some playing with a white ball so I think a bit of practice is important really.

“Most of our one-day cricket for clubs is with a pink and orange ball and it does make a bit of a difference.

“The ball behaves differently and it’s just different circumstances of cricket, so it’s good to practice.”

Parton added he was looking forward to skippering Shropshire’s new T20 side.

“It will be good fun,” he said. “We’ve got a good bunch of lads and Twenty20 gives different players an opportunity to try and get in the side. It’s new for everybody so every county is going to be in the same boat.”

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