Norfolk call up Marillier for their opening Twenty20 fixtures

Stephan Marillier has been called into the Norfolk squad for their Twenty20 matches against Suffolk

Stephan Marillier has been called into the Norfolk squad for their Twenty20 matches against Suffolk on Sunday. Picture: Archant - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

There will be a new face on show when Norfolk's season finally gets up and running at the weekend with their first matches in a revamped Minor Counties Twenty20 competition.

Zimbabwe-born Stephan Marillier, 33, has been called up into a 12-man squad for two fixtures against Suffolk at Woolpit on Sunday, with the opening game getting under way at 11am.

A hard-hitting batsman who hails from Harare and plays East Anglian Premier League cricket for Horsford, Marillier finished his four-year qualification period in March, making him available for selection.

The remainder of the squad is made up of familiar faces, with Rob Taylor the professional and Ashley Watson once again leading the one-day team.

Watson and his side will be playing plenty of Twenty20 cricket in the early part of the season, with less of an emphasis now on the 50 over per side game.

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The group stages of that particular competition have been replaced by a straight knock-out contest, with the first round tie against Bedfordshire coming up at Manor Park on May 20.

The gaps in the calendar have been filled by the matches in the shortest form of the game, with further double headers coming up against Cambridgeshire (Manor Park, May 27), Bedfordshire (Dunstable, June 3) and Hertfordshire (Manor Park, June 17).

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The aim of all the Eastern Counties sides will be to book a place in finals day alongside other regional winners at the picturesque Wormsley ground in Buckinghamshire on August 26.

As far as the traditional Minor Counties Knock-out competition is concerned, June 10 and July 1 are the dates for further rounds of the competition, with the final being held on August 28.

Norfolk's Championship campaign begins on June 24 with a three-day game against Lincolnshire at Sleaford. The other fixtures are: July 22-24 - Suffolk (Copdock), August 5-7 - Staffordshire (Manor Park), August 12-14 - Hertfordshire (Manor Park), August 19-21 - Cambridgeshire (Manor Park), September 2-4 - Bedfordshire (Wardown Park, Luton).

Norfolk's squad for Sunday is: S S Arthurton, S J Marillier, J D Reynolds, R M L Taylor, L R K Denmark, M J Plater, A M Watson (captain), B J France, B D Coote, B W Stolworthy, R J Finlay, S J Groves (wicket-keeper).

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