Rees gets chance to prove his worth

SIMON Rees is poised to make his Minor Counties Championship debut for Suffolk in their opening match of the season tomorrow.The Bury St Edmunds all-rounder is included in a 12-man squad as Suffolk travel to Dunstable to face Bedfordshire (start 11am) in their first three-day fixture.

Nick Garnham

SIMON Rees is poised to make his Minor Counties Championship debut for Suffolk in their opening match of the season tomorrow.

The Bury St Edmunds all-rounder is included in a 12-man squad as Suffolk travel to Dunstable to face Bedfordshire (start 11am) in their first three-day fixture.

Rees made his competitive debut in the Minor Counties KO Cup victory over Hertfordshire a fortnight ago, taking one for 34 from five overs and hitting the winning runs.


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Last season he was selected to go on an MCC tour to the West Indies and there were high hopes he might earn a contract as an MCC Young Cricketer - as Billy Moulton-Day has - until he was laid low by a prolapsed disc in his back.

Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's director of cricket, said: “We have to factor into the way we select the team the issue of having nine players with an average age of 26.

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“When we get an opportunity to play a young player we have got to look at that seriously to not only help with their development but also to keep the average age of the side in line with the requirements of the competition.

“Simon was hindered last season by a back injury but has started the summer promisingly and there comes a time when you have to find out how good these players are.

“He deserves his chance to play and by the end of the season hopefully he will have demonstrated how good he is.”

Captain Phil Caley, who has retired from one-day matches, and Ben France return to the fold after missing the three-wicket win at Welwyn Garden City.

Batsman Andrew Mawson is unavailable and Paul King, who skippered Suffolk in their opening two one-day matches, has been left out.

Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's director of cricket, said: “Taking on the one-day captaincy affected Paul which we had not expected to happen and he has lost a little bit of confidence.

“He has not played a lot of cricket so far this season and with the make-up of the side he might not have bowled many overs as we would have liked in this game, so it is an opportunity for him to play this weekend and get some overs under his belt.”

Brooks is confident that Suffolk, who finished fifth in the Eastern Division last season, can push for the Championship title they won in 2005.

He said: “There is no doubt we have got a group of players who are good enough to win the championship.

“There is an element of luck that can come into it with the weather, but if we can get enough time in the middle we have the ability to be challenging at the top of the table once again.

“I have every confidence in the players we have got that we will be up there at the end of the season.”

Suffolk squad: B France, T Huggins, N Lee, H Adnan, M Cull, C Swallow, C Warn (wkt), P Caley (capt), J Bishop, S Rees, A McGarry, M Smith.

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