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Suffolk coach Andy Northcote without Sudbury duo Adam Mansfield and Ben Parker for NCCA Trophy opener against Cambridgeshire at Burwell & Exning CC




Sudbury duo Adam Mansfield and Ben Parker will both be missing as Suffolk start their NCCA Trophy campaign.

Suffolk face Cambridgeshire at Burwell & Exning CC on Bank Holiday Monday, start 11am, in their opening 50-over match of the season – and first under the NCCA banner after last season was lost to the pandemic.

The match comes too early for wicket-keeper / batsman Mansfield to risk playing after dislocating a finger three weeks ago, while batsman Parker is unavailable.

Sudbury batsman Ben Parker, who is unavailable for Suffolk’s opening NCCA Trophy match of the season Picture: Nick Garnham
Sudbury batsman Ben Parker, who is unavailable for Suffolk’s opening NCCA Trophy match of the season Picture: Nick Garnham

Head coach Andy Northcote admitted it was the ‘longest, hardest selection meeting’ he has sat through in his five years at the helm.

Copdock & Old Ipswichian's Jacob Marston will keep in Mansfield’s absence. Matt Wareing gets the nod ahead of fellow bowler Max Dias, while Dias' Bury St Edmunds team-mate Josh Cantrell is set to bat at No.3 after scoring 71 against the World Sport Exchange XI, with Copdock's Alex Oxley dropping to No.5.

Northcote said of returning to competitive action: “We are super excited as you can imagine. We are chomping at the bit to get going, play competitive NCCA cricket and perform for our county.

Sudbury's Adam Mansfield is set to return from injury for Sudbury this weekend but is not going to be risked also playing for Suffolk Picture: Mark Westley
Sudbury's Adam Mansfield is set to return from injury for Sudbury this weekend but is not going to be risked also playing for Suffolk Picture: Mark Westley

“We feel our squad will be very competitive, so if we can string performances together, this will be a great year to be a Suffolk follower.”

Suffolk won both their 50-over friendly matches, the first of which was against Monday’s opponents, and Northcote said: “We are in a good position, and in particular winning that second friendly from a very tough position should give our players the belief and little reminder that anything is possible in a game.

“The Cambs side we face on Monday will be very different to the one we faced in the friendly, so we can’t read too much in to that one but over the course of the two games all players were used, bar the injured Kyran Young, and that is pleasing.

“We have a group of players that are fully aware of the standards I expect from them and have gelled together nicely over the last few years.”

Northcote said of Mansfield’s situation: “He is playing for Sudbury this Saturday but feels that it will be too soon to return to two games in the weekend and the stress on the fingers just too much.

“He is so pro playing for the county and really understands the value it adds to him; the pride he wears on his sleeve is such that all he worries about is letting us down! He's an incredible man and county player.

“Jacob Marston comes into the fold and plays, batting at 10 and keeps. His glove work is sound but where he is different from Adam is that presence behind the stumps.

“He’ll need to step out of his comfort zone, demand the ball and find a way to get our fielding unit energised, and retain that energy for the 50 overs.

“I am confident he can do so. He struggled a little in this regard when he played in the second warm-up game and knows what I want and need from him. The rest is up to him.”

Northcote said selection was ‘exceptionally tough’ around finding suitable replacements, balanced on roles and the age limits.

“With so many places up for grabs and permutations to consider, it was the longest, hardest selection meeting I have been through and the first in five years where we have left not unanimous. I take this as a very healthy position to be in!”

Suffolk: Ben Claydon, Jack Beaumont (capt), Josh Cantrell, Joe Gatting, Alex Oxley, Ben Shepperson, Darren Ironside, Darren Batch, Tom Rash, Jacob Marston (wkt), Matt Wareing. 12th man: Max Dias.

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