Cricket: Staffordshire prepare for Shropshire warm-up
PAUL Goodwin says Staffordshire's pre-season friendly at Shropshire tomorrow (11am) will be invaluable to his side's one-day preparations.
Goodwin takes a 12-man squad to Shifnal for a 50-over encounter against their neighbours as both counties gear up for their Knockout Trophy campaigns.
"It is a chance for the batsmen to spend some time in the middle and the bowlers to get some overs in their legs. Hopefully, all 12 players will be involved at some stage," said the Staffordshire captain.
"In the past we've probably gone into the one-dayers a bit under-cooked, but those first two games are critical to get you up and running.
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"It will be competitive because there's no such thing as a friendly and we're going out to win, as well as getting some quality practice.
"Meeting up also gives the lads a chance to spend some time together and build up the team spirit."
New paceman Imran Arif has been named in the Staffordshire squad, while Walsall batsman Tim Maxfield and Longton all-rounder Richard Hassell are also included.
Shropshire are likely to hand a debut to former Nottinghamshire batsman Bilal Shafayat.
Staffs' first one-day game is against Dorset, at Longton, on Sunday, April 29.
Shropshire: Foster (cpt, Shrewsbury), Barnard (Shresbury), Blofield (Shrewsbury), Bowen (Shrewsbury), Cox (Shrewsbury), Downes (Newport), Edwards (Shifnal), Foster (Shrewsbury), S Leach (Shrewsbury), Parker (Shifnal), Ralph (Bridgnorth), Shafayat (West Indian Cavaliers).
Staffordshire: Goodwin (cpt, Knypersley), Ali (West Bromwich Dartmouth), Wilshaw (Meakins), Wheeldon (Cheadle), Chishti (Knowle & Dorridge), Maxfield (Walsall), McGuire (Hem Heath), Hassell (Longton), Willott (Leek), Barker (Longton), Arif (Whitmore), Bowker (Walsall).
THERE are 10 ties in the first round of the Staffordshire Cup tomorrow (1pm).
All North Staffordshire and South Cheshire League games see Stafford entertain Moddershall, Oulton visit Checkley, Bignall End face Porthill Park and Hem Heath host Whitmore.
Leek have home advantage against Fordhouses, Audley travel to Cannock, Longton entertain Old Hill and Knypersley head south to Tamworth.
Milford Hall against Lichfield and Aldridge's clash with Himley completes the list.