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No room for sentiment as Brown prepares for his final Norfolk Festival

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 August 2018

Chris Brown and his Norfolk team are preparing for the annual Festival of Cricket Picture: TIM FERLEY

Chris Brown and his Norfolk team are preparing for the annual Festival of Cricket Picture: TIM FERLEY

Archant

There will be no time for sentiment on Sunday when Norfolk captain Chris Brown walks out for the start of his final Manor Park Cricket Festival as a player.

All Brown will be focused on is trying to win a game of cricket, and a tough one at that, against a Staffordshire side who have won all three of their matches so far and lead the Minor Counties East Division table by 19 points.

The skipper knows his side will have to be a lot better than they were in their previous match at Suffolk, when they were beaten by an innings and two runs, if they are going to get their campaign up and running again after a bright start.

“To lose the way we did at Copdock was very disappointing, especially after we had played really well to beat the defending champions Lincolnshire by 10 wickets in our first game,” said Brown, who will be switching his focus to coaching and club cricket at the end of season.

“To be fair to the bowlers they kept going well in the sweltering heat but our batting just wasn’t good enough and I want to see a big improvement. We will be up against a good side and will have to perform to the best of our ability if we are going to come away with the win.”

As for impending county retirement at the age of nearly 44, Brown added: “There comes a time when every player has to call it a day and I am really looking forward to concentrating on the coaching side of the game and helping young players develop. I have really enjoyed my 17 years of playing for Norfolk but it has to finish some time.”

There is just one change to the team, with Vauxhall Mallards batsman Matthew Plater coming in for Matthew Bint.

Team: S Arthurton, J Reynolds, T New, W Rogers, B France, M Plater, A Watson, B Stolworthy, C Brown (captain), A Hanby, S Groves (wkt).

There are two further matches to come at Manor Park against Hertfordshire (August 12-14) and Cambridgeshire (August 19-21) before Norfolk round of their three-day campaign against Bedfordshire at Luton from September 2-4. Before that there’s the Minor Counties Twenty20 Finals Day to look forward to, with the four county competition taking place at Wormsley in Buckinghamshire on August 26.

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