Staffordshire announce squad for NCCA Knockout Trophy opener

Staffordshire County Cricket Club have announced their pre-season friendlies.

Staffordshire have called up Hem Heath all-rounder Callum Leese for their NCCA Knockout Trophy opener.

Leese, a right-handed batsman and off-spinner, has been named in Staffs’ 12-man squad for Sunday’s Group Four trip to play Wales at Port Talbot.

He has been part of the Staffordshire Development XI and has now been included in this weekend’s travelling party.

Leese recently scored an unbeaten 65 for Hem Heath to defeat county captain James Kettleborough’s Checkley side in the NSSCL Premier Division.

There is also a return to the squad for seamer Rory Haydon. He has previously played two Knockout Trophy games for the county, making his debut in 2021 at Shropshire.

The former Leek paceman is part of the Warwickshire Academy and now plays his club cricket for Kenilworth Wardens.

Callum Hawkins returns to glove duty to replace the unavailable Spencer Byatt. Byatt was behind the stumps for Sunday’s NCCA Twenty20 Cup finals day success.

Nils Priestley is also named in the Staffordshire line-up after his finals day heroics at Tring Park.

The 22-year-old smashed 147 not out in the semi-final win against Berkshire. He then scored a half-century and took four wickets in the narrow victory over Cornwall in the final.

Staffordshire (from): James Kettleborough (cpt, Checkley), Sam Atkinson (Moddershall & Oulton), Tom Brett (Finedon Dolben), Callum Hawkins (Moddershall & Oulton), Michael Hill (Meakins), Rory Haydon (Kenilworth Wardens), Liam Hurt (Flixton), Callum Leese (Hem Heath), Matthew Morris (Westhoughton), Nils Priestley (Swarkestone), Dan Richardson (Moddershall & Oulton), Peter Wilshaw (Meakins).