Michael Eccles hopes Swardeston form will lead to county recall in MCCA Knockout Trophy
In-form Swardeston paceman Michael Eccles hopes his impressive start to the season will earn him a recall to Norfolk's one-day side.
The 33-year-old has taken 13 wickets in three East Anglian Premier League games this year to send champions Swardeston soaring to the top of the table.
But he has been overlooked for Norfolk's first two MCCA Knockout Trophy games – and that clearly hurts: 'I've only played once in the one-day games since the final at Durham (when Norfolk won the competition in 2009 and Eccles was man-of-the-match with five wickets). They don't seem to see me as a one-day bowler, but I am always available, so hopefully if I keep getting wickets I will get another chance,' he said.
Eccles has remained the spearhead of Norfolk's attack in the Minor Counties Championship three-day games, but the decision to bring in players from outside the county has been the subject of some debate this year. Dominic Reed and all-rounder Ben France have been added to the Norfolk ranks this season, but both proved expensive in the five-run defeat to Shropshire on Monday.
Eccles said: 'Everyone's got a different opinion and people from each club will have their favourites who they think should play. My personal opinion is that the EAPL is a strong league and the Norfolk teams are always at the top, so I think we've got enough players in the county to pick from.
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'I enjoy playing for Norfolk and I do miss it when I'm not playing, but then again the one-day game is not exactly designed for bowlers and you can bowl well and still go for runs.'
Eccles, who will lead the Swardeston attack at second-placed Cambridge Granta tomorrow, believes his form can be attributed to taking on more responsibility: 'I think I bowled well last year and I'm a lot fitter than I was,' he said. 'But the main thing is that I'm bowling more overs. Before, when we had Jaden Hatwell and Richard Sims playing every week the spinners did a lot of the bowling and there's only so many overs in a game. Now I'm bowling a lot more and that helps with the consistency.'
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Elsewhere tomorrow, there is a Norfolk derby at Manor Park as Horsford host Vauxhall Mallards, while Great Witchingham are at home to Burwell.
In the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, leaders Norwich travel to Vauxhall Mallards A and Sprowston – who are second only by virtue of having one less bonus point – are at Diss.