Staffordshire’s players can’t let professional game pass them by, says Alex Mellor

Alex Mellor captains Staffordshire in their Showcase game against Leicestershire.

Alex Mellor says Staffordshire’s ‘Showcase’ game against Leicestershire is one his players need to grasp with both hands.

Staffs welcome their first-class opponents to Knypersley on Sunday (11am) for a 50-over per side contest, which will be played at the third time of asking.

The match, part of programme which sees all NCCA sides host first-class teams, was first introduced into the calendar ahead of the 2020 season.

However, the past two years has seen the fixture called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Leicestershire will be using the game as the final preparations for their Royal London Cup campaign, while NCCA sides hosting games will bring in income and also allow local cricket followers to see the pros in action close to him.

And Staffs player-coach Mellor, who also captains the county’s white-ball side, says it’s a fantastic chance for his players.

“It’s going to be a great experience, especially for the younger lads,” said Mellor. “It’s going to be a great day for the county and it’s an opportunity for local cricketers to take on the professionals.

“You always want to see how you’d fare against first-class players – and for the younger players it will show them where they are at and what they need to do if they aspire to reaching that level.

“We’re not seeing it as just a training exercise, for us it’s a competitive fixture and we want to get into the battle with bat and ball and see how we get on.

“We under-performed in the NCCA Knockout Trophy this season (Staffs finished bottom of their group), so this is a chance for us to put things right and prove we can play the 50-over format to a high standard.”

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Pictured: Alex Mellor leads Staffordshire out against Leicestershire in their Showcase game this weekend.