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Shropshire’s Emerging Player Programme continues to help develop promising cricketers


An exciting crop of up and coming Shropshire cricketers are receiving quality coaching at weekly sessions to enhance their development.

A dozen players, aged between 15 and 19, have been selected to attend sessions for the second year of Shropshire County Cricket Club’s Emerging Player Programme.

A partnership between Shropshire CCC and Cricket Shropshire, the programme, introduced to identify promising players, is sponsored by Besblock, keen supporters of cricket in the county.

Training sessions are taking place at the Neville Cardus Indoor Cricket Centre at Shrewsbury School each Friday evening until Christmas.

Toby Shaw, the Shropshire CCC chairman, said: “The programme is going from strength to strength. I’m delighted that Andrew Huxley and Besblock have agreed to once again be sponsors as it’s a very important aspect in the development of the county’s promising young players.

“These young cricketers are ones for the future and we are very pleased how they have engaged with the programme. We see it as a very important cog in the development of players going forward, part of a player pathway.

“We are working very closely with Cricket Shropshire, with Ed Ashlin instrumental in that.”

The dozen young cricketers selected for this year’s programme include a trio of Bridgnorth players in Ben Lees, Joe Smallman and Niall McAdam.

The other players invited to attend the sessions are Worfield duo Ben Parker and Matt Rees, Shrewsbury’s Joe Pattenden, Alberbury’s Dominic Zaza, Wem’s Evan Limerick, Newport’s Sam Papps, Quatt’s Ryan Wheldon, Wellington’s Matty Simmonds and Allscott’s Luke Thornton.

Ian Roe, Shropshire’s Development XI coach, said: “This is the squad we wanted for this year’s Emerging Player Programme. We are delighted to be working with such a talented bunch of young cricketers.

“Hopefully they can keep developing and progress to play for Shropshire’s first team and, who knows, perhaps pursue careers in the first-class game one day.”

Roe and Ashlin help deliver the sessions alongside Bryan Jones, Shropshire CCC’s chairman of selectors, and two former Worcestershire stars in Paul Pridgeon and Alexei Kervezee, who topped the Western Division run charts in the Unicorns Championship during a successful debut season with Shropshire last year.

Pictured: Some of the cricketers taking part in Shropshire’s Emerging Player Programme line up alongside Andrew Huxley, centre left, of sponsors Besblock, and Toby Shaw, the chairman of Shropshire CCC.