Suffolk start their Unicorns Championship campaign against Buckinghamshire

Suffolk cricket coach Andy Northcote

Suffolk cricket coach Andy Northcote - Credit: Archant

Coach Andy Northcote says his Suffolk side are a long way from where they ought to be but are moving in the right direction.

After qualifying for the quarter-finals of the one-day Unicorns Trophy for the first time since 2014, Suffolk turn their attentions to the three-day format.

Buckinghamshire provide the opposition for the opening Unicorns Championship fixture of the season, starting at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.

Buoyed by finishing runners-up in Group 4 to earn a trip to Falkland CC in Newbury to face Berkshire on June 11th, Northcote said: “It is a great achievement by the players and one that hopefully will give us a boost of confidence in to the Championship rounds.

“Although the Championship is a very different form of cricket, of course it will give us a massive lift. I think that will happen individually though as we are ready for what will now be a gruelling June, with fixtures coming thick and fast!

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“The individual performances were great and for players to realise that they can perform at this level is key.

“I think we are a long way from where we ought to be but we are moving in the right direction and this will hopefully continue through to the Championship.”

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Northcote said that he had not set any targets for this season’s Championship campaign.

“We are at a stage where we try to pick the best local side we can with a very youthful feel to it.

“As I have always maintained, the first few years of my tenure is about building for the future, the rest will follow in time. Our player base is shallow and we can only really progress as a county once that deepens,” he added.

Sudbury’s Darren Batch, who scored 60 in the nail-biting six-run victory over Bedfordshire at Woolpit CC that secured Suffolk’s one-day qualification, is not available for three-day matches.

However, Copdock & Old Ipswichian batsman Jed Cawkwell, and all-rounders Dom Manthorpe (Bury St Edmunds) and Kyran Young (Frinton) come into the frame, although Cawkwell and Young will not feature against Bucks.

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