Gatting and Cantrell to returnJuly 8, 2021
JOE Gatting and Josh Cantrell will return for Suffolk’s opening National Counties Cricket Association Championship match of the season against Cambridgeshire at Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.
Gatting and Cantrell (pictured above) both missed last Sunday’s final NCCA Trophy Group 3 game against Hertfordshire, which Suffolk won to reach the quarter-finals, due to personal reasons.
They will replace Suffolk head coach Andy Northcote, who made his debut in the thrilling one-run win at Sudbury CC, and Darren Batch, who is only available to play white-ball cricket.
Both Mistley’s Kyran Young and Alex Oxley of Copdock & Old Ipswichian were considered, with Oxley named as 12th man.
The match at the Victory Ground, which starts at 11am, will be the first of a new era under the NCCA banner which sees Suffolk competing in Eastern Division One.
Northcote said his side, whose last three-day fixture was on the same ground against Northumberland in August 2019, are looking forward to the occasion.
He said: “It should be a great day and Bury is a beautiful ground to start a strong campaign at. It generally has everything from seaming on the first day to flattening out and good to bat on through day two before it spins towards the later part of the game.
“For a lot of us, the three-day competition is the best part of our summer as it brings challenges that we simply are not used to.”
The match also marks the first in charge in this format for skipper Jack Beaumont, after last season’s entire NCCA programme was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.
Northcote said: “Jack is approaching another big day for Suffolk Cricket and himself but he’ll do what he always does; take it in his stride. He’s got Adam Mansfield and Ben Shepperson supporting him so I am confident it will go really well.”
Northcote admitted that making a good start to the campaign will be important, especially as the new-look, two-division competition only features four three-day fixtures.
“I think the one-day competition showed that losing games early makes it incredibly difficult to recover. Not impossible, but you’ll always be on the back foot.
“This is not something we are thinking about though, we’ve got the squad to win the game and compete in this competition and it is exactly what we are going to do.”
Suffolk: Ben Claydon, Darren Ironside, Josh Rymell, Joe Gatting, Ben Parker, Ben Shepperson, Josh Cantrell, Jack Beaumont, (capt), Tom Rash, Adam Mansfield (wkt), Matt Wareing. 12th man: Alex Oxley.
Bury St Edmunds all-rounder Josh Cantrell returns for Suffolk on his home ground for the match against Cambridgeshire. Photograph: Nick Garnham
Categorised in: Suffolk CCC