Staffordshire select 13-man squad for NCCA Twenty20 opener against Cumbria

All-rounder Nils Priestley is part of Staffordshire's 13-man squad to play Cumbria in the NCCA Twenty20 Cup.

Staffordshire County Cricket Club have named a 13-man party for their curtain raiser against Cumbria this weekend.

Staffs begin their National Counties Cricket Association campaign with a double header in Group One of the short format at Moddershall & Oulton (11am & 2.30pm).

They will be the first competitive games of a new era for the county, which has seen Andy Carr take over as head coach and James Kettleborough appointed captain.

Staffordshire won one and lost one of their two friendlies against the North Staffs and South Cheshire League XI on Sunday.  And the county management have now settled on their squad for the Cumbria clash.

‘Debuts on the cards’

New signings Tom Brett and Liam Hurt will make their debuts for the county.

Left-arm spinner Brett, who moved over from Bedfordshire with Kettleborough in the winter, featured in Sunday’s two friendly encounters.

Fast bowler Hurt, released by Lancashire at the end of last season, was due to play in last Saturday’s warm-up matches against North Wales. However, they were called off because of the weather.

Hem Heath all-rounder Liam Banks is included in the 13, while Spencer Byatt has fought off competition from Callum Hawkins to take the gloves for the opener.

Swarkestone’s Nils Priestley  is also included. Priestley made a positive impression on his Staffs debut in the Showcase game against Leicestershire at Knypersley last summer.

Cumbria arrive under the temporary stewardship of Matthew Sempill. Regular captain Michael Slack is currently recovering from injury.

Admission to Sunday’s matches is free of charge and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Staffordshire (from): James Kettleborough (cpt, Checkley), Sam Atkinson (Moddershall & Oulton), Liam Banks (Hem Heath), Tom Brett (Finedon Dolben), Spencer Byatt (Nantwich), Dan Gibbs (Newcastle & Hartshill), Michael Hill (Meakins), Liam Hurt (Flixton), Tom Moulton (Checkley), Nils Priestley (Swarkestone), Jack Redman (Audley), Dan Richardson (Moddershall & Oulton), Peter Wilshaw (Meakins).

Cumbria: Matthew Sempill (cpt, Cockermouth), Sam Dutton (Furness), Gary Pratt (Richmondshire), Sam Sharp (Cockermouth), Nathan Waterson (Furness), Matthew Siddall (Cockermouth), Ben Walkden (Newton Le Willows), Ed Moulton (Chorley), Finlay Richardson (Kendal), Freddie Fallows (Kendal), Nico Watt (Carlisle). 12th man: Josh Brown (Cockermouth).

Main picture: Nils Priestley is in the Staffordshire squad for the games against Cumbria on Sunday.