Former Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely will return to his cricketing roots with Bedfordshire this weekend.
Wakely has been named in Bedfordshire’s squad for Monday’s National Counties T20 double-header against Oxfordshire at Wormsley, the first time he has featured for them since 2009.
Wakely made his debut for Bedfordshire as a 15-year-old in a Championship match against Lincolnshire at Sleaford in 2004 when he was a pupil at Bedford School.
Further appearances followed in C&G Trophy match against Sussex at Luton in 2005 and three in the 50-overs Trophy in 2009.
Having established himself as a regular with Northamptonshire, Wakely led them to two Vitality Blast T20 titles before he retired from professional cricket last May.
Wakely joins two more former Northamptonshire players, James Kettleborough and Tom Brett in Bedfordshire’s squad along with batter Amrit Basra, who made a century on debut for Kent Second XI this week, and Kashif Ali who is having trials with Worcestershire.
Oxfordshire have included Sussex batter/slow left-armer James Coles in their squad for the first time his season.
Berkshire welcome back Euan Woods for their double-headers against Wales NC at Newport on Sunday and Buckinghamshire at Wargrave on Monday.
Toby Albert is available for Sunday’s matches but is on Hampshire duty on Monday so Jack Davies comes back into a Berkshire squad for the first time in three years.
Davies, who is now contracted to Middlesex, made his last appearance for his native county in the 2019 Championship final victory over Lincolnshire at Banbury.
Glamorgan all-rounder Dan Douthwaite is in line to make his debut for Wales NC at Newport.
Batter Callum Taylor, another Glamorgan staffman, will make his seasonal debut on his home club ground.
Suffolk will give a debut to 16-year-old batter Arthur Summers against s at Manor Park on Sunday.
Summers, who plays his club cricket for Worlington, captain Suffolk Under-15s last season and is a product of the county’s Elite Player Pathway system.
Left-arm wrist spinner Freddie Heldreich, who is contracted to Northamptonshire, is available for Sunday’s East Anglia derbies.
Suffolk host holders Hertfordshire in their second double-header of the Bank Holiday weekend at Copdock on Monday.
Hertfordshire have included Essex wicketkeeper/batter Will Buttleman in their squad. Buttleman made his National Counties debut in a Trophy match against Cambridgeshire last season and takes the place of his Essex team-mate Robin Das who made a half century on his Hertfordshire debut against Norfolk last Sunday.
Norfolk can call on the services of Northamptonshire batter Josh Cobb, who is not required for County Championship duty this weekend, for the home games against Suffolk and Monday’s against Cambridgeshire at Wisbech.
Cambridgeshire began their season with a double over Suffolk at Wisbech two weeks ago.
Devon have named an unchanged 13-man squad for Wiltshire’s visit to Exmouth on Sunday and the trip to North Perrott to play Dorset on Monday.
But batter Jamie Baird will require a fitness tests after he was struck a painful blow on an elbow batting against Cornwall at Werrington last weekend.
Cornwall will give a debut to Callington batter Luke Brenton in Monday’s double-header against Wiltshire at the South Wilts club in Salisbury.
Former captain Matt Robins will make his seasonal debut but James Turpin and Scott Kellow are unavailable.
Wiltshire have added Tom Morton to the side that completed a double over Herefordshire last week and again have Jake Lintott (Warwickshire) and Will Naish (Gloucestershire) available.
Staffordshire’s player/coach Alex Mellor will make his seasonal debut against Cheshire at Leek on Sunday, replacing Michael Hill.
The former Warwickshire wicketkeeper/batter has had a watching brief for the first two rounds of matches against Northumberland and Shropshire in which Staffordshire won their first three matches but then lost their fourth – the second of the day against Shropshire – from a commanding position.
Cheshire, who did the double over Shropshire two weeks ago, also face Cumbria at Toft on Monday.
Chris Sanders (Alderley Edge) and Jack Williams (Chester Boughton Hall) come into Monday’s squad for the Hyde pair Andy Jackson and Charlie Barnard.
Richard Gleeson, the Lancashire and England Lions seamer, will be available for Cumbria for Monday’s matches but not for Sunday’s against Shropshire.
Shropshire have made changes to their squad, which also includes Monday’s matches against Northumberland at Whitchurch as vice-captain Sam Whitney, Martin Boyle, James Shaw, Matty Simmonds and Harry Darley are all unavailable.
Three members of the county’s Academy – Shrewsbury seamer Luke Thornton, Worfield spinner Matt Rees and Shifnal batter Matt Lamb are included in the squad for the weekend.
Bridgnorth all-rounder David Laird, who played in the county’s opening T20 of the season at Cheshire, returns from injury.
Northumberland have called up Durham Academy batter Ross Whitfield for his National Counties debut and added Alex Senior and Jack McCarthy to the squad.
Herefordshire have lost the services of leg-spinner Alex Russell who has been recruited by Northamptonshire having impressed on trial with them this month.
Zach Shah comes into the squad for Sunday’s games against Dorset at Colwall for his debut.
National Counties T20
May 1 (11am and 2.30pm)
Group One. Netherfield: Cumbria v Shropshire, Leek: Staffordshire v Cheshire.
Group Two. Exmouth: Devon v Wiltshire, Colwall: Herefordshire v Dorset.
Group Three. Grantham: Lincolnshire v Cambridgeshire, Manor Park: Norfolk v Suffolk.
Group Four. High Wycombe: Buckinghamshire v Oxfordshire, Newport: Wales NC v Berkshire.
Group One. Toft: Cheshire v Cumbria, Whitchurch: Shropshire v Northumberland.
Group Two. North Perrott: Dorset v Devon, South Wilts CC: Wiltshire v Cornwall.
Group Three. Wisbech: Cambridgeshire v Norfolk, Copdock: Suffolk v Hertfordshire.
Group Four. Wargrave: Berkshire v Buckinghamshire, Wormsley: Oxfordshire v Bedfordshire.