Norfolk return for Jaik Mickleburgh – but this time as a Suffolk player

Jaik Mickleburgh plays for Suffolk against Norfolk in the opening match of the festival. Nick Wood/A

Jaik Mickleburgh plays for Suffolk against Norfolk in the opening match of the festival. Nick Wood/Action Plus - Credit: Nick Wood/Action Plus

Former Norfolk batsman Jaik Mickleburgh is relishing a return to his old stamping ground on Sunday – this time in Suffolk colours.

Mickleburgh used to play for Horsford in the East Anglian Premier League and is looking forward to visiting Manor Park for the three-day Unicorns Championship fixture against Norfolk, start 11am.

Suffolk enter the match top of the Eastern Division, three points ahead of Lincolnshire, while Norfolk, one of only two sides not to have played three matches, are fifth.

For ex-Essex batsman Mickleburgh it is a return to the county where he grew up playing club and Minor Counties cricket, before signing for Essex in 2008.

He said: 'I am really excited. I grew up playing my age group cricket for Norfolk from under-10s and under-11s through to the under-17s and Development side and then playing for the men's team before moving to Essex so it will be good to go back and play against some old friends and old faces.

'When I was at Horsford I moved there to progress my career and play a higher standard in the East Anglian Premier League.

'I was looked after really well under the leadership of Paul Newman, who was at Horsford at the time, and Chris Brown, so they were really good times for me and really progressive times in my career, and I can't speak highly enough of those years and what they did for me.

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'I played for Horsford there for four or five years and a few Minor Counties games for Norfolk there so I obviously know the conditions pretty well.'

Norfolk give a debut to Vauxhall Mallards' John Ewart while Suffolk's 12-man squad features former Essex bowler Merv Westfield, who played for Suffolk in last season's Unicorns Trophy but did not feature in the Championship.

Norfolk: JM Spelman, SS Arthurton, JD Reynolds, RML Taylor, JD Hale, BJ France, JPR Ewart, C Brown (cpt), BW Stolworthy, AD Todd, SJ Groves.

Suffolk: MG Cull, JC Mickleburgh, KP Young, BD Shepperson, MA Comber, TW Rash, MS Westfield, AP Mansfield (cpt), JB Wakelin, JE Poulson, HA Douglas

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