Four debutants selected as Norfolk head to Lincs for first Championship game
Archant © 2017
Norfolk will take a refreshed squad to Lincolnshire for a tough start to their three-day campaign and captain Chris Brown hopes to see some opportunities grasped.
Teen batsmen Callum Metcalf and Will Rogers will both make their Unicorns Minor Counties Championship debuts and 27-year-old bowler Andy Hanby is called up following his good form for Great Witchingham.
Former Leicestershire wicketkeeper-batsman Tom New, who represented England at youth levels, also comes in as professional with Rob Taylor unavailable for three-day games due to his role as head coach of Loughborough Lightning.
“Lincs have won the Eastern title the last couple of years so we know they’re a strong side and unfortunately we are without eight senior players who are unavailable through injury or work commitments,” explained Brown.
“Then there’s another two or three players who have played sporadically in Championship games in the past who are young and unavailable due to university commitments – but we still feel we’ve managed to get together a decent squad.
“Callum Metcalf and Will Rogers have come through our age group system and Andy Hanby has been performing well for Witchingham, so when guys are unavailable for one reason or another it gives other people an opportunity.
“Callum Metcalf is only 16, is in the Notts academy and has played quite well for Horsford already. So it’s an opportunity for these guys to showcase what they can do.”
Brown resumes as captain after seeing one-day skipper Ashley Watson lead the Twenty20 squad to finals day of the Unicorns T20 competition.
Norfolk are looking to build on fifth place in the Eastern Division last season, when they won two, drew three and lost just one of their games.
“We certainly have a good spirit about us,” Brown added ahead of the game at Sleaford CC. “We’ve played some excellent cricket in the white ball format and getting to a final is excellent.
“This is a different format of the game of course but we’ll try to take that spirit and the positives, even though it’s almost two separate groups. We want to build on what we did last year.”
Norfolk: Arthurton, Reynolds, Mew, Rogers, France, Metcalf, Ashley Watson, Stolworthy, Brown (C), Hanby, Groves (WK)