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Kent Spitfires set to visit Woolpit Cricket Club for showpiece encounter with Suffolk

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'A dream come true' is how head coach Andy Northcote described Suffolk’s showcase match versus Kent Spitfires on Sunday.

Suffolk finally face the first-class county at Northcote’s home club Woolpit CC, start 11am, after two Covid interrupted years and following two changes of venue.

The 50-overs-a-side contest sees Suffolk host first-class opposition for the first time since facing Glamorgan in the former Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy at Bury St Edmunds CC in 2005.

Tom Rash, who will lead Suffolk in Sunday’s Showcase fixture versus Kent Spitfires. Picture: Nick Garnham
Tom Rash, who will lead Suffolk in Sunday’s Showcase fixture versus Kent Spitfires. Picture: Nick Garnham

Northcote said: “Ultimately it’s an opportunity for Suffolk Cricket as a whole to present itself in the best light possible, both on and off the field, with a great day of sport in Suffolk.

“It’s about the game, the players, spectators and volunteers so if these three groups have enjoyed themselves, then I think that’s a win for all involved.”

Not only will it be a big day for Suffolk, but also for Woolpit Cricket Club, where Northcote has played his cricket since moving to the county.

He said: “Woolpit is a small village club that I fell in love with having spent years playing in various corners of the world. The ground is a unique-shaped field maintained in the highest order and a club that does things right when it comes to recreational cricket.

“Our volunteer network is huge and the club’s slogan of ‘one club’ is very much at the front of every decision and therefore makes it a very family-orientated club.

“To host Suffolk is an honour for most of us and to host this game, and the Kent Spitfires, well it’s a dream come true!”

Although Kent will be without their players who are involved in The Hundred, the Spitfires are still expected to field a strong side in preparation for their opening Royal London One Day Cup fixture away to Worcestershire two days later.

Northcote said: “Kent are packed with international superstars and we hope they bring them all. The challenge for our players will be to stay present in every ball and simply focus on what is in front of them.

“We are thrilled the NCCA has arranged these games and will want to put up a good show, both as individuals and as a club.”

Suffolk will be without Ben Shepperson and Leicestershire’s George Rhodes, who are both unavailable, while left-arm wrist spinner Freddie Heldreich, who is on the staff at Northamptonshire, is injured.

Suffolk squad: Jack Beaumont, Darren Batch, Ben Claydon, Alex Oxley, Ben Parker, Darren Ironside, Josh Cantrell, Tom Rash (capt), Matt Allen, Jacob Marston (wkt), Luke Froggatt, Andy Northcote.