Essex to visit for Showcase fixture

November 23, 2023

SUFFOLK will host Essex for the first time in more than 30 years when the first-class county visit for an NCCA Showcase match next summer.

The 50-overs-a-side fixture against Essex Eagles will be staged at Woolpit CC on Sunday, July 21st, start 11am.

Essex have not visited Suffolk since the two counties met in the first round of the NatWest Trophy at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds in 1993.

More than 4,000 spectators saw an Essex side including England internationals Graham Gooch, John Stephenson, Nasser Hussain, Derek Pringle and Peter Such defeat Suffolk by 121 runs.

Essex scored 251 for 9, with Stephenson top-scoring with 84 and Pakistan overseas star Saleem Malik making 74. Suffolk were bowed out for 130 in reply, man-of-the-match Malik claiming 4 for 25.

Suffolk CCC Chair Andrew Squire said: “It is very exciting to have our closest county Essex visit us for next year’s Showcase match, especially as they will be playing in Suffolk for the first time in 30 years since that memorable day in the NatWest Trophy at Bury St Edmunds.”

Essex skipper Tom Westley said: “As I grew up in Cambridgeshire, I played a lot in Suffolk and have fond memories of playing at Mildenhall, a club close by.

“Games against the National Counties are brilliant as it’s a great opportunity for us to play them and also for them to showcase how talented they are.”

Woolpit have held successful Showcase matches versus Kent Spitfires and Surrey in each of the last two seasons, with more than 1,000 spectators turning out to watch on both occasions.

Kent Spitfires defeated Suffolk by 140 runs in the 2022 season, racking up 431 for 7 before the National County side made a spirited reply of 281 for 5.

This year’s match saw Suffolk host the reigning county champions Surrey, who posted 216 for 9 in their 50 overs.

Reece Topley, the Suffolk-born bowler who had just returned from injury, took two early wickets as Suffolk struggled to 45 for 6 before rain brought a premature end to the proceedings, the visitors winning by 101 runs on DLS.

Ticket details for the match will be announced in due course.

Suffolk’s National Counties fixtures for 2024 are expected to be confirmed soon.

Pictured above is Essex Eagles opener Nick Browne, who could feature for the first-class county against Suffolk next summer. Brown has previously played for Suffolk on a dual registration.

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