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National Counties Championship Preview...

9 Jul 2021
National Counties Championship Preview...

Josh Lincoln will make his debut for Berkshire in their opening match in the defence of their National Counties Championship title against Wiltshire in Western Division One at Corsham on Sunday July 11. 

The 23-year-old, who plays his club cricket for Slough comes into a Berkshire side that includes his older brother, Dan, but which is missing acting captain Richard Morris and former Middlesex slow left-armer Chris Peploe as they go in search of a record fifth consecutive title. 

Stewart Davison will captain Berkshire in the absence of Morris who had been standing in his for his brother James, who is recovering from knee surgery. Slow left-armer Luke Beaven returns after missing three National Counties Trophy matches because of a broken thumb. 

Middlesex Academy paceman Toby Greatwood will make his seasonal debut as Berkshire seek to extend their unbeaten run in Championship cricket to 34 matches. 

For Wiltshire, opening batsman Jack Mynott will make his first Championship appearance in three years in place of Jack Stearman in the only change to the side beaten by Cornwall in the Trophy last week. 

Since Berkshire beat Staffordshire in a thriller in at Banbury in the 2019 final, the Minor Counties Cricket Association has been replaced by the National Counties Cricket Association and the three-day Championship has been restructured with the Eastern and Western Divisions being split into two leagues of five counties – each playing four matches – with promotion and relegation. The winners of the respective First Divisions will meet in a four-day final at Tring in September.  

Cheshire will give a debut to Didsbury opening batsman Tim Hughes in the other Western Division One match against Dorset at Oxton. 

Hughes’ club opening partner Charles Lowen will make his Championship debut for Cheshire having made his last appearance in the competition against them for Herefordshire in 2015. 

Dorset’s 12-man squad includes two potential debutants in Hampshire Academy left-arm quick James Trodd and all-rounder Lewis Freak, a product of their own youth system.  

Bashley Rydal batsman Harry Fisher is set to make his seasonal debut. 

Lincolnshire, beaten finalists between 2016 and 2018, begin their Eastern Division One campaign against Norfolk at Cleethorpes where Grantham opening batsman Jaden Fell is included in a 16-man squad for a possible Championship debut. 

Fell is the son of Lincolnshire’s director of cricket Mark Fell, the former Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire batsman, and made his county debut in the National Counties Trophy defeat by Cambridgeshire two weeks ago. 

Norfolk will be captained by batsman Sam Arthurton as Ashley Watson is unavailable this weekend. 

Suffolk welcome back former Sussex and Hampshire batsman Joe Gatting for their local derby against Cambridgeshire at Bury St Edmunds. 

All-rounder Josh Cantrell also returns to county action on his home club ground in a side that includes Essex staff man Josh Rymell. 

Cambridgeshire are without Callum Guest, who is working as a volunteer at the Open Golf Championship and Nikhil Gorantla who is playing for the Essex Academy. 

Matt Gouldstone, who last played for Cambridgeshire in 2018, and Josh Bowers are added to the side that beat Norfolk in the National Counties Trophy last weekend. 

In Eastern Division Two Bedfordshire make their annual visit to Bedford School where Buckinghamshire are the visitors. 

Old Northamptonians opening batsman Amrit Basra, who has been playing for Northamptonshire’s Second XI this season, is set to make his debut for Bedfordshire with all-rounder Gus Miller and former Northamptonshire slow left-armer Tom Brett – who is cricket professional at Bedford School – back in the squad. 

Essex seamer Eshun Kalley will make his debut for Hertfordshire against Northumberland at Jesmond. 

Adam Bassingthwaite and Jamie Regan are set for their first Championship appearances having played in Trophy matches this season. 

Wales NC have named a 15-man squad for their Western Division Two match against Cornwall at Pontarddulais partly because they have become victims of their own success this season. 

Captain Sam Pearce and off-spinner Tegid Phillips, who have impressed in taking Wales to their first National Counties Trophy quarter-final in six years, have broken into Glamorgan’s senior squad in recent weeks. 

Glamorgan start a LV= County Championship match against Northamptonshire in Cardiff on Sunday so Wales have named an extended squad which includes Pearce and Phillips. 

St Fagans batsman Callum Nicholls is a possible debutant with Morgan Bevans, Umar Malik and Ben Kelleway all included in a squad for the first time this season. 

Herefordshire will give Championship debuts to Ben Chapman-Lilley, Zain ul Hassan, Henry Cullen and James Rudge against Devon who will make their first visit to Brockhampton in 27 years. 

Devon have two Somerset staff men, Ben Green and Ned Leonard, available and have included three potential debutants, batsmen Adam Small (Sandford), Elliot Hamilton (Plympton) and Sam Read (Exeter) in a 12-man squad. 

Paceman Jack Popham has been rested ahead of next week’s Trophy quarter-final against Berkshire. 


National Counties Championship  

Sunday July 11- Tuesday July 13 (11am) 

Eastern Division One 

Cleethorpes: Lincolnshire v Norfolk. Bury St Edmunds: Suffolk v Cambridgeshire. 


Eastern Division Two 

Bedford School: Bedfordshire v Buckinghamshire. Jesmond: Northumberland v Hertfordshire. 


Western Division One 

Oxton: Cheshire v Dorset. Corsham: Wiltshire v Berkshire. 


Western Division Two 

Brockhampton: Herefordshire v Devon. Pontarddulais: Wales NC v Cornwall.

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