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James Poulson and professional Jaik Mikleburgh back to boost Suffolk ahead of Buckinghamshire Unicorns Championship away test




Jaik Mickleburgh and James Poulson return to the Suffolk squad for the Unicorns Championship match versus Buckinghamshire at High Wycombe, starting on Sunday, writes Nick Garnham.

The county's professional Mickleburgh was unavailable and Sudbury's Poulson injured for Suffolk’s opening three-day fixture of the season against Staffordshire.

The match at Copdock was abandoned as a draw without a ball being bowled on day three after heavy overnight rain got under the covers.

Former Essex opening batsman Jaik Mickleburgh who returns to the Suffolk squad for the match against Buckinghamshire Photograph: NICK GARNHAM (13271568)
Former Essex opening batsman Jaik Mickleburgh who returns to the Suffolk squad for the match against Buckinghamshire Photograph: NICK GARNHAM (13271568)

Former Essex opening batsman Mickleburgh and all-rounder Poulson, who scored 99 opening the batting for Sudbury at Mildenhall on Saturday, replace Ben Reece and Jacob Marston.

Poulson's club team-mate Reece misses out through injury while Marston, who was 12th man for the first time on his home ground at Copdock, is on holiday.

Suffolk will be keeping their fingers crossed that Culford School pupil Alex Oxley, who scored his maiden century for the county against Staffordshire, will be available, but he may be required by Warwickshire.

Former Kent opening bowler Matt Hunn, who has not played for Suffolk since suffering a side strain in the Twenty20 double-header against Cambridgeshire on May 12, is fit again but has not been selected.

James Poulson pictured bowling for Suffolk. He returns to the squad for this weekend’s match away to Buckinghamshire Photograph: NICK GARNHAM (13271563)
James Poulson pictured bowling for Suffolk. He returns to the squad for this weekend’s match away to Buckinghamshire Photograph: NICK GARNHAM (13271563)

Bury St Edmunds' Josh Cantrell is also included again, along with Hundon-based Jack Beaumont and Mildenhall duo Tom Rash and Ben Shepperson.

Suffolk head coach Andy Northcote, who also represents Woolpit, said: “It has been incredibly tough to select a squad this week. We looked long and hard at the seam bowling unit in particular and felt that they deserve another go after their efforts and performances against Staffordshire.

“What that does, however, is leave Matt Hunn out and as you can imagine, that’s a huge decision. Matt has been around long enough to know that unfortunately, that’s sport and when a group go well, you make minimal changes.

“I think Staffs walked away feeling very relieved that the last day got rained off because we were in an incredibly strong position and were on top in just about every session over the two days played.

“They completely outplayed us at their place last year so to do the reverse to them this year was a fantastic achievement. It shows how hard we’ve worked and far we have come over the past 12 months and makes the next five games incredibly exciting but, of course, still equally tough.

“One thing that really stood out is the belief that grew within the group as the game progressed so long may that continue.”

Suffolk squad: Jaik Micklebrugh, Alex Oxley, Darren Ironside, Kyran Young, Jack Beaumont, Ben Shepperson, Tom Rash, Mike Comber, Adam Mansfield (capt & wkt), Josh Cantrell, Ollie Bocking and James Poulson.

* For club cricket reports and umpire Ron Raisey's latest 'Caught in the Middle' column, see this week's print editions out on Thursday and Friday.



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