Sadler and Osborne to make Suffolk debuts
SUFFOLK will field two debutants in tomorrow’s opening Minor Counties KO Trophy match of the season away to Berkshire.
Former Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire all-rounder John Sadler and Essex all-rounder Max Osborne will make their debuts in the 50-overs-a-side match at Henley (start 11am).
Justin Bishop, who returns to skipper the side after missing most of last season with a knee injury that required surgery, is looking forward to the campaign that sees Suffolk in Group 4 alongside Berkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
Bishop said: “We have been having indoor nets for the last two or three months at Ipswich School and followed that up with the match a fortnight ago against a very strong Essex 2nd XI side that included regular first-teamers Mark Pettini and Matt Walker.
“We did quite well and although we lost by 25 runs, it was a good run-out for tomorrow’s opening match.”
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Bishop has known Sadler, 29, since they were opponents at the Under-15 Bunbury Festival, and they subsequently played together for England at under-17 and under-19 level.
The possibility of Sadler taking on a player-coach role with Suffolk was discussed, but his commitments to his club side prevented him from doing so. He will instead play for Suffolk in this season’s KO Trophy matches, with Hassan Adnan playing in the Championship as Suffolk’s professional.
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Bishop said: “As well as being a bowler he is a good-quality top-four batsman, who will hopefully be able to bat through the innings for us if he gets in.”
Twenty-year-old Osborne, who took five wickets on his first-class debut against Bangladesh last May, has been put on a dual registration with Suffolk this season.
“Essex coach Paul Grayson was quite happy for Max to play for us when he is not required by Essex. He is a quality bowler who did well for Essex 2nd XI last season and he will probably take the new ball for us,” said Bishop.
After winning the trophy in 2007 for the first time in the county’s history, Suffolk failed to go beyond the group stage in each of the following two seasons, before losing on a bowl-out to eventual winners Shropshire last season after Suffolk were in the ascendency.
Bishop added: “Obviously to lose to the eventual winners on a bowl-out in the quarter-finals after we had outplayed them you wonder if it might have been our year again.
“We have prepared exactly the same and feel confident. If we play to our potential we will hopefully be there or thereabouts.”
Suffolk squad: T Huggins, B France, J Sadler, M Cull, C Warn (wkt), J Bishop (capt), S Ward, C Swallow, J Finch, P Edwards, M Osborne, S Rees.