George commits to Suffolk for 2023

November 20, 2022

GEORGE Rhodes believes Suffolk can challenge for silverware across all three formats next season.

The 29-year-old all-rounder has signed a one-year contract as Suffolk’s professional for the 2023 season, after impressing in the role last summer.

Rhodes (pictured batting above) made his debut mid-way through the campaign and played in three of Suffolk’s National Counties Cricket Association Championship fixtures plus the NCCA Trophy quarter-final.

That last-eight tie ended in disappointment as Suffolk lost to Oxfordshire by three wickets, after Rhodes had top-scored with 95 and then returned figures of 10-1-32-0.

That came just days after making his debut in the three-day defeat to Norfolk, before Rhodes played a prominent role in Suffolk winning their final two matches to not only stave off the threat of relegation but finish second in the Eastern Division One table.

He scored 308 runs at an average of 61.60, including 148 in the second innings at Bedfordshire, and claimed nine wickets at 31.33 apiece including figures of 5 for 36 in the first innings of the same match.

Rhodes is currently in Australia playing as the professional for Newtown & Chilwell Cricket Club in the Geelong Cricket Association Premier Division.

Torrential rain in Victoria has restricted the all-rounder to just one match since the start of the season, in which he led his side to victory as stand-in captain, scoring a century and taking three wickets.

He said: “I am very excited for another season playing for Suffolk. I get on really well with the players and coaches and I’m looking forward to contributing to a National County that is hungry for success.

“Last year was very enjoyable. I hadn’t played a great deal of National Counties cricket prior to last year, so I wasn’t sure of the dynamic, but everyone at Suffolk CCC made me feel very welcome and I instantly felt a part of a hard-working group of players and coaches.”

Rhodes, who didn’t feature for Suffolk in their T20 campaign or the group stages of the NCCA Trophy, continued: “I’m delighted to be able to commit to a full season for Suffolk. It is far more rewarding winning trophies off the back of contributing throughout a competition.

“Whilst it was disappointing to lose that quarter-final, many valuable learnings would have come from it that I hope as a team we can improve on going into next year’s competition.

“It was nice to have some success last year in the few games I played, and my goal is to have a consistent impact all of next year.”

Rhodes, who will continue to play as player-coach at Barnards Green CC in the Birmingham and District Premier League, said: “Typically in National Counties cricket you have to balance youth opportunity/development, and winning games of cricket.

“I am familiar with this from my time at Worcestershire and Leicestershire. I am at the stage of my career where I can bring my experience from the professional game to help the development of Suffolk youngsters – something I’m pretty excited about.

“Ultimately, the primary goal for me is to win games of cricket, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t be right up there like previous years in finals across all formats.”

Suffolk head coach Andy Northcote said: “We are delighted to have George commit to a full season with us. Last season he fitted in tremendously well, both on and off the field.

“He’s a model, modern day pro; expected to perform on the field and add value off it in equally proportion. George has the skill set required to help push our youthful squad to success and we can’t wait to welcome him back.”

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