Norfolk new blood ready to make a mark

Paddy DavittNorfolk player/coach Chris Brown is confident the county's new breed can challenge the established order during the rest of this season's Minor Counties Championship campaign.Paddy Davitt

Norfolk player/coach Chris Brown is confident the county's new breed can challenge the established order during the rest of this season's Minor Counties Championship campaign.

Carl Rogers' men had to settle for a rain-affected draw yesterday in their opening fixture against Cambridgeshire at March after the scheduled final day's play was a complete washout. The umpires and both captains were left with a simple decision at lunchtime following overnight rain and heavy morning showers.

Norfolk had blooded three debutants against their traditional rivals and Brown insists that can only stand the county in good stead for the future.

'It's never easy to throw in three new players but I felt they all contributed,' he said. 'Tom (Collishaw) was good in the field, Jonathan Miles impressed as we said on the first day and Richard Goodenough did nothing wrong either. Maybe the pool of players we have is a little bit deeper this season. We have a group of 32 in the performance squad, so that is quite a few to choose from, and Jonathan is one more to the mix.


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'Some of the younger players will get another chance in the next development game and the club is heading in the right direction. We try and be fair with selection and if guys are performing consistently well in the league or the development team, as in the case of Tom Collishaw, they will get an opportunity but I am very confident with the season ahead.'

Norfolk travel to Barrow-in-Furness to face Cumberland in their next three day fixture after a frustrating climax to their seasonal opener.

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'There is nothing you can do about the weather,' said Brown. 'It rained heavy overnight and throughout the morning so it was no goer. With the forecast as it was as well there was no way we were going to play so it was the correct decision.

'We'll take those points for the first game of the season. It is a solid start and now we move onto Barrow-in-Furness in two weeks time and the development team have a game against Cambs at Manor Park before that. I have played there before when I was actually a sub professional in a game when I was at Lancashire but you are talking 10 or 12 years ago. From what I remember it was a good wicket but I don't know what it is going to be like now.'

Brown believes Norfolk can take plenty of positives from the first two days of the Championship season.

'I was pleased with the way we bowled in the first innings and pleased up until just before tea on day two with how we batted,' he said. 'Cambs don't give you too much and the only way we were going to win this game was to take 10 wickets and because of the weather we didn't have a chance to do that so we move on.

'It did start to spin a bit, late on Monday night but one of us would have had to take four or five wickets for 50 odd runs and that would have helped us chase a total. I thought we bowled very well on that first day to bowl them out for what we did and another positive was the batting of Sam Arthurton and Carl. When they both went we lost Harry Bush with a run out and Tom soon after, which wasn't ideal. We needed a few more runs on the board but it wasn't to be.'

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