Bowler rethinks role

CricketDESPITE being the chief wicket taker in Suffolk's Minor Counties Championship game against Staffordshire at Stone, Justin Bishop is now looking for a career outside cricket.

Cricket

DESPITE being the chief wicket taker in Suffolk's Minor Counties Championship game against Staffordshire at Stone, Justin Bishop is now looking for a career outside cricket.

The 24-year-old left arm seam bowler joined Essex straight from school and won England caps at youth level.

He was released from Essex at the end of last season, and their loss looks like being Suffolk's gain.


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Bishop, who plays for his home town Bury St Edmunds in the East Anglian Premier League, is to pursue a teaching career and is planning to go back to university for one more year to qualify as a PE teacher.

"Playing cricket for a living has been put on the back burner," said Bishop, who took six wickets in Staffordshire's first innings and then destroyed their top order in their second knock.

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"I did have trial games with Leicestershire at the start of the season, but nothing came of it.

"I am assessing my career options, and my girlfriend is a teacher and this is what I expect to do."

Bishop, whose father Keith played one-day cricket for Suffolk, is currently working as a groundsman at the Victory Ground, Bury where Suffolk will play their final crucial Minor Counties game against current table-toppers Lincolnshire starting on Sunday week.

"I am proud to be playing for my home county and it is even more pleasing because they are professionally run and are enjoying success," added Bishop, who played in Suffolk's final two games - and the play-off final - last year.

He has been a regular this campaign, with more onus being put on his shoulders this game because of the absence through injury of leg spinner Chris Schofield.

The former England Test star had taken 28 wickets in the first four matches, and Bishop said: "We knew that the four remaining bowlers were likely to be in for a bigger work load.

"But we have enough experience between us to work through it, and having Andrew McGarry block up one end puts batsmen under more pressure when they face me.

"We use a top grade Duke ball in Minor Counties games and in this match they have held their shine and swung. The Staffordshire seamers may not have found it so in our second innings, but the conditions were ideal for me.".

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