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Sudbury Cricket Club to host competitive Suffolk match for the first time as 2021 schedule revealed




Sudbury Cricket Club chairman Louis Brooks said it will be a proud day in the Talbot's history to host a competitive Suffolk fixture for the first time in the upcoming season, writes Nick Garnham.

Although the club have been based at Friars Street since 1891 and been used for friendly matches, Sudbury CC have never previously staged a full county fixture.

Suffolk will entertain Hertfordshire at Sudbury’s Friars Street ground in a 50-Over NCCA Trophy group game on Sunday, July 4, following the 2020 fixtures being released.

Sudbury CC will host a competitive Suffolk fixture at their Friars Street ground for the first time in 2021Picture: Nick Garnham
Sudbury CC will host a competitive Suffolk fixture at their Friars Street ground for the first time in 2021Picture: Nick Garnham

“The club were very pleased and proud to be asked to host a competitive match," said Brooks.

"We have successfully hosted T20 friendlies previously, so it was fantastic to be approached regarding a 50-over competitive match.

“We are really looking forward to it and July 4th will be a key date in the diary in the club’s history.

Neil Dexter hits out during his innings of 86 for Suffolk against Cambridgeshire last season. He is set to return to previous club Sudbury in 2021Picture: Nick Garnham
Neil Dexter hits out during his innings of 86 for Suffolk against Cambridgeshire last season. He is set to return to previous club Sudbury in 2021Picture: Nick Garnham

"Our dear departed friend and club historian Alan Cocksedge would have loved to have seen the day which was a missing piece in the club’s historical publications plotting our history since 1787.

“So yes, we are very proud of this historical event. It’s our first Suffolk competitive match and I hope it won’t be the last so we need to put on a good show!”

Brooks said he is hoping the fixture will attract a good-sized crowd.

“We have been getting some great crowds for East Anglian Premier League matches and we really hope we can get the word out across town and attract a decent crowd down to Friars Street," he said.

“It’s very easy for people to walk into the club from town and enjoy a drink and some great cricket. We have seen many successful matches hosted at other great grounds in Suffolk.

“Sudbury is different and we are very grateful for being chosen. It provides a great atmosphere for spectators.

"Being a ground in the centre of town many people come down to the ground to watch the action. We have some great viewing points and a lovely pavilion for people to refresh themselves.

“I also think this is really deserved and testament to the club. We have really been punching above our weight with the resources we have, winning back-to-back EAPL titles in 2017 and 2018 and consistently challenging in 2019 and 2020, with many of the team coming from the junior section.

“We also love the Suffolk Cup, winning it three times in the last four years, many of those players having represented Suffolk.

"It was great to have Sudbury’s Adam Mansfield captain the Suffolk side recently, while current white-ball skipper Jack Beaumont also started his career as a Sudbury junior many years ago.”

Neil Dexter 'coming home'

Brooks added that staging the fixture was all the more exciting for the fact that Suffolk are hoping to sign Neil Dexter, who was lined-up to play last season, as their white-ball professional, meaning he will be ‘coming home’ to Sudbury.

“Neil started his cricketing career in England with Sudbury in 2007. We won the Two Counties title for the first time in 17 years and Kent snapped him up, the rest is history," he said.

“He is a great lad and I know he is very excited to grace Friars Street again.

"I think the locals will really want to see him playing at Sudbury again. Fingers crossed he will be there."

Norfolk first competitive match

Suffolk will start their season at home to old rivals Norfolk in the NCCA T20 competition – the first of their two home matches which will both be staged at Ipswich School.

Mildenhall, who were last season due to host a Suffolk fixture for the first time since 2011 season before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, will stage the NCCA 50-Over Trophy group game versus Lincolnshire.

Suffolk’s travelling in the group stage of this competition will be kept to a minimum, with away matches in Norwich and at Exning, which is in Suffolk but used as a home ground by Cambridgeshire.

Bury St Edmunds CC and Copdock & Old Ipswichian CC will host the county’s two three-day home matches in Eastern Division One of the NCCA Championship.

Suffolk are waiting to hear from the ECB whether they will be hosting a showcase fixture against a first-class county.

The county were scheduled to face Kent Spitfires at Copdock & OI CC last season until Covid-19 ruled out the prospect of any competitive fixtures.

Suffolk 2021 Fixtures*

*All fixtures start at 11am and are subject to change due to covid restrictions

Friendlies

Sunday, April 11: Bedfordshire, home, Woolpit CC

Wednesday, April 14: tbc

NCCA T20 competition

Sunday, April 18: Norfolk, home, Ipswich School

Sunday, April 25: Hertfordshire, away, Haileybury School

Sunday, May 9: Cambridgeshire, home, Ipswich School

Sunday, May 23: Lincolnshire, away, Grantham CC

Thursday / Friday, June 24 & 25: Finals Day

NCCA 50-Over Trophy

Monday, May 31: Cambridgeshire, away, Burwell & Exning CC

Sunday, June 20: Lincolnshire, home, Mildenhall CC

Sunday, June 27: Norfolk, away, Horsford CC

Sunday, July 4: Hertfordshire, home, Sudbury CC

Sunday, July 18: Quarter-Finals

Sunday, August 8: Semi-Finals

Thursday & Friday, September 2 & 3: Finals Day

NCCA Championship Eastern Division One

Sunday-Tuesday, July 11-13: Cambridgeshire, home, Bury St Edmunds CC

Sunday-Tuesday, July 25-27: Norfolk, away, Horsford CC

Sunday-Tuesday, August 15-17: Lincolnshire, away, Sleaford CC

Sunday-Tuesday, August 22-24: Staffordshire, home, Copdock & OI CC

Sunday-Wednesday, September 5-8: Play-Off Final

Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport