Trio could make Championship debuts in opener

July 7, 2023

THREE players could make their three-day debuts for Suffolk in their opening Durant NCCA Championship match of the season.

Alex Cruickshank, Tom Harper and Freddie Heldreich (pictured above) are all included in a 12-man squad for the fixture versus Staffordshire at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday, start 11am.

Cruickshank and Harper have both impressed during Suffolk’s white-ball campaign, while Heldreich, who is on the staff at Northamptonshire, has never previous played a Championship match for Suffolk.

Adam Mansfield, who came out of retirement to skipper Suffolk’s white-ball sides this season, will play as will head coach Andy Northcote, who will keep wicket as Jacob Marston is on holiday.

He said: “We appreciate we are light with the bat and therefore bring in the experience of Adam Mansfield and myself as short-term cover for Jacob, who is a big loss as he’s just coming in to his own in the squad.”

Northcote is delighted to have left-arm wrist spinner Heldreich, who made his T20 debut for Suffolk back in 2018, available for the first time in a three-day fixture.

He said: “It’s great to have Fred play a Championship game for us. He’s a talented white-ball player and hopefully this will kick-start a foray into the professional red-ball game too.”

Looking ahead to the red-ball campaign, Northcote said: “The squad have performed exceptionally well in the white ball competition, playing to our strengths and working hard throughout.

“Often we are not the most talented collective on the field but this group’s efforts, desire and work rate is what makes us a very competitive white-ball XI.

“Staffordshire will be our toughest challenge this year, having recruited exceptionally well through the winter, so it will be a tough opening fixture.

“However, with the 12 in the squad, I am quietly confident that we can focus on the basics and do these well with the rest looking after itself.”

Suffolk squad: Adam Mansfield, Jack Beaumont (capt), Alex Oxley, George Rhodes, Ben Claydon, Ben Parker, Josh Cantrell, Andy Northcote (wkt), Tom Harper, Freddie Heldreich, Dan Shanks, Alex Cruickshank.


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