Staffordshire back in NCCA Twenty20 Cup after rivals’ error

Staffordshire County Cricket Club are back in the NCCA Twenty20 Cup.

Staffordshire have been handed an NCCA Twenty20 Cup lifeline after being reinstated into the competition.

Staffs, who are the defending champions, were seemingly knocked out of the initial group stage following Monday’s final round of matches.

However, it has subsequently emerged that Northumberland – who Staffordshire played in Group One – fell foul of NCCA rules in their fixture against Cheshire.

Northumberland fielded former pros Jacques Du Toit and Stuart Poynter in the matches at Oxton. Both have played more than 40 games across first-class and List A fixtures.

Counties are only permitted to field one player whose combined tally of first-class and List A appearances exceeds the 40-mark.

Northumberland had finished in second place in the group to advance to the Super 12s stage. Staffs missed out as one of the best third-placed finishers.

Electrical specialists CEF sponsor Staffordshire

The competition has been tweaked this summer with the top two from each of the five groups qualifying.

The best two third-placed sides also progressed which, after Monday’s results, were Cambridgeshire and Herefordshire.

But Northumberland’s removal from the T20 Cup sees Staffordshire back in contention to defend the crown they won last year.

Staffs defeated Berkshire and Cornwall on finals day to lift the silverware for the first time in their history.

‘Long trip east’

Andy Carr and his players will now venture to Norwich’s Manor Park on Sunday, May 19 for the next instalment of the short format.

On the day they will take on hosts Norfolk and Hertfordshire.

The winners of the day will then join the three other Super 12s victors at finals day later in the month.

The other three groups see Cumbria host Lincolnshire and Herefordshire, Oxfordshire entertain Dorset and Cambridge, and Berkshire have home advantage in games against Shropshire and Cornwall.

Staffordshire County Cricket Club head coach Andy Carr
Staffordshire County Cricket Club head coach Andy Carr will take his side to Norfolk for the Super 12s. Picture: Pete Stonier

Staffordshire will be hoping to make the most of their second chance in the competition.

They were left frustrated by the weather after four of their six group matches fell victim to the elements.

Staffs didn’t bowl a ball against Cheshire at Checkley or against Cumbria at Carlisle.

The only action they saw was at Burslem on Sunday when they won one and lost one against Northumberland.

Before they can focus on the Super 12s, though, Staffs start their Knockout Trophy campaign.

They head to Mildenhall to take on Suffolk on Sunday in their opening group game.

Main image: Staffordshire have been reinstated into the NCCA Twenty20 Cup. Picture: Pete Stonier

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