Batch cannot wait for Suffolk return

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Sudbury Cricket Club captain Darren Batch cannot wait to pull on a Suffolk shirt again, writes Nick Garnham.

The 31-year-old played twice for Suffolk in the Minor Counties Championship in 2010, but has not appeared for his county side following a fall-out with team manager Bobby Flack.

Batch was approached by new coach Andy Northcote, who replaced Flack after he stood down at the end of last season, and jumped at the chance to play for the county again.

The all-rounder is poised to return to the Suffolk side for the opening group game in the one-day Unicorns Trophy, against Bedfordshire at Ampthill this Sunday (11am).

Batch said: “I have played against Andy in the past when he was with Woolpit, and was very pleased to get the call from him at the start of the winter.

“I have enjoyed working with him over the winter months, and I am looking forward to pulling on a Suffolk shirt again. I am only available for the one-day games as being a school teacher I won’t be able to take time off during the school term.

“As a result, I have been working hard on what my role will be in the one-day team and have tailored my training towards that.”

Batch also praised the input of Suffolk skipper Tom Huggins, who is both a team-mate and club coach at Sudbury, who this season are back competing in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

He said: “Tom has had a huge impact on my game with the changes he has helped me to make.

“He has helped me to understand my game better and know what my strengths are and how best to use them, and I feel I have made a big improvement over the last couple of years.”

This weekend’s game is the first of four Group Four matches Suffolk will play in this season’s competition, with the top two teams advancing to the quarter-finals.