Youngsters to have key role
Featured News | 27th April 2009
Assistant Manager Wayne Noon is looking for cricketers from the Notts Academy to step up and make a real contribution in the Second XI this season after naming a youthful squad for the opening fixture.
Notts travel to Radlett to take on the MCC Young Cricketers in the Second XI Trophy on Tuesday, ahead of the three-day Second XI Championship which follows immediately.
It represents a change of format in Second XI cricket, introduced by the ECB with the objective of creating a more competitive environment for up-and-coming players to learn their trade.
With injuries and England call-ups, Noon is only able to call on three staff players in his squad of 12, meaning the Academy members will not be playing bit-part roles in the game.
He said: “A few days ago I thought I might be able to use 10 staff players but the situation can change quickly and I’m now relying on Academy players and trialists to do their bit.
“Chris Tolley brought in a group of younger players to the Academy a few years ago and they’ve now reached a point where they should be playing and contributing in the Second XI.
“The youngest player in the squad is Sam Kelsall at 16 and he played twice last season. The opportunities will continue to appear for them this summer and it’s not a case of them batting at eight and not bowling - they need to step up and do a proper job.
“It helps me to have the new team in the Bassetlaw League on a Saturday. I am able to watch them play more often and monitor their progress better.”
The format of the Second XI Trophy has changed to more closely mirror first-team conditions, with teams playing in coloured kit and using a white ball.
Notts have been placed in the North Division, with the top two sides qualifying for semi-finals and Noon added: “I think the players are quite excited by the prospect of playing in coloured kit and facing a white ball as it’s a new experience for many of them.”
Will Jefferson, Akhil Patel, Greg Wood (wkt), Kevon Cooper, Ben McGuire, Sam Kelsall, Liam Andrews, Scott Elstone, Adam Shepherd, Jason Brown, Mark Footitt, Charlie Shreck.
Will Jefferson is stepping up his return from a hamstring strain