Debutant Hankins to replace Rhodes

July 13, 2023

GEORGE Hankins will make his debut for Suffolk in Sunday’s NCCA Trophy Semi-Final versus Cumbria.

The former Gloucestershire all-rounder replaces the unavailable George Rhodes for the 50-overs-a-side match at Sudbury CC, start 11am.

Hankins, 26, made his debut for the county in 2016 and played 38 first-class, 16 List A and eight T20 matches before his release along with his younger brother Harry at the end of the 2021 season.

Rhodes is unavailable due to a pre-arranged family holiday, which meant he would miss either this week’s Durant NCCA Championship opener or the semi-final, should Suffolk progress that far in the one-day competition.

It was agreed that Rhodes would play the three-day fixture versus Staffordshire, in which he scored 110 in Suffolk’s second innings, rather than the semi-final in the event Suffolk reach this stage.

Suffolk head coach Andy Northcote said: “It is sad that George is not available, but we are able to replace him with another experienced ex-professional in George Hankins.

“George is a close associate of Chris Gange, who is a member of the Suffolk coaching set-up, from their time at Millfield School.”

The tie is Suffolk’s first semi-final since losing to Devon at Sidmouth in 2018, when the scores ended level and the visitors went out of the competition by virtue of Devon losing one less wicket.

Suffolk lost in the quarter-finals of this competition two years ago away to Cumbria by five runs and Northcote said: “We know that it will be a tough tie as Cumbria are a very experienced white-ball team.

“However, losing that match to Devon still sits heavily with those of us that were involved, and will motivate us to go one better and win a semi-final.”

It will be the third time Suffolk have played a 50-over NCCA Trophy tie at Sudbury this season, the county having defeated Shropshire by 69 runs in the group stage and Northumberland by 87 runs in the quarter-finals.

Northcote said: “Sudbury is a ground that suits us well, and we are very lucky that the club are able to host us once again.

“It is a great venue for one-day cricket with the spectators close to the boundary edge which makes for a good atmosphere.”

Suffolk have named a 13-man squad which includes left-arm wrist spinner Freddie Heldreich, who took seven Staffordshire wickets on his red-ball debut.

Wicket-keeper Jacob Marston, who missed the 51-run loss at Bury St Edmunds, returns in place of Northcote.

Suffolk squad: Darren Batch, Jack Beaumont, Ben Claydon, George Hankins, Alex Oxley, Ben Parker, Josh Cantrell, Adam Mansfield, Jacob Marston (wkt), Tom Harper, Freddie Heldreich, Dan Shanks, Alex Cruickshank.

Jack Beaumont is pictured above bowling in the quarter-final tie versus Northumberland at Sudbury when he took 3 for 13. He claimed 4 for 47 on the same ground earlier this season against Shropshire.


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