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Ollie Westbury to captain Shropshire in NCCA Championship opener against Dorset

Ollie Westbury, Shropshire CCC

Ollie Westbury will captain Shropshire for the first time in their opening NCCA Championship match of the season against Dorset.

The three-day Western Division Two fixture starts at Telford club St George’s on Sunday (11am).

Vice-captain Westbury, the former Worcestershire and England under-19 opening batter, will deputise as skipper for the unavailable Charlie Home.

Shrewsbury all-rounder Peter Clark and Worfield’s left-arm spinner Matt Rees, who are both in good form for their clubs in the Birmingham League, are recalled to the team.

They replace Home and Jacques Banton, who is also unavailable, from Shropshire’s last match, the impressive six-wicket win at Staffordshire in the NCCA Trophy last month.

It will be a first county appearance of the season for Rees, who made his Shropshire debut in the NCCA Twenty20 Cup against Northumberland at Whitchurch in 2022, and has previously captained Shropshire’s Academy side.

Shropshire’s head of cricket Ed Home said: “We’re in very safe hands with Ollie leading the team. He’s played a lot of good cricket and captains Himley in the Birmingham League, a side that are going well after being promoted last year.

“Charlie is not available because of exams and he won’t be available for the NCCA Showcase Match against Yorkshire later this month either.”

Knocked the door down

On the inclusion of Rees and Clark, Home added: “It’s been impossible not to be impressed with Matt’s performances for Worfield, who are riding high at the moment. He’s certainly knocked the door down in the last few weeks with a seven-for and a five-for.

“He’s played for Shropshire before and he richly deserves his opportunity. It is also a nice accolade for his club. I’ve got no doubt he’ll fit in very well and give us something different.

“Peter did well earlier in the season and he deserves his opportunity in the three-day side. We’re looking forward to seeing him perform at this level again.”

It is the first of four three-day matches for Shropshire in Western Division Two of the NCCA Championship this season.

They will follow hosting Dorset with away games against Wiltshire and Herefordshire either side of a home match against Wales at Bridgnorth next month.

“We’re all looking forward to going back to St George’s for a three-day game, which is very exciting,” said Home.

“St George’s has been the venue for several memorable Shropshire performances and last year we played there in the 50-over competition and had a good result against Cambridgeshire.”

Admission is free for spectators on all three days at St George’s.

Shropshire: George Hargrave (Shrewsbury), Ollie Westbury (Himley, captain), Tom Fell (Wolverhampton), Andre Bradford (Shifnal), Peter Clark (Shrewsbury), Ollie Currill (Knowle & Dorridge), Ben Lees (Shifnal), Lewis Evans (Shrewsbury), Joe Stanley (Wolverhampton), Sam Ellis (Wolverhampton), Matt Rees (Worfield).

Pictured: Ollie Westbury will captain Shropshire against Dorset in the NCCA Championship match at St George’s.