Wales have named a 14 man squad for their NCCA One Day Cup quarter final clash with Berkshire at Falkland this Sunday.
Glamorgan left arm spinner Prem Sisodiya, who was ever present during Wales' NCCA T20 campaign is included as he awaits the go ahead on a hand injury, whilst there is a return to the squad for former Essex and Derbyshire all-rounder Greg Smith in the absence of Connor Brown who is nursing an ankle injury. Carmarthen Wanderers and Wellington School (Somerset) fast bowler Will Moore comes into the squad for the first time after impressing on Wales U18 duty in the absence of Ben Morris who is on ECB Super 4s duty, with faith kept in the academy duo of Harry Friend and Callum Nicholls at the top of the order. Lorenzo Machado (unavailable) and Steve Reingold miss out.
CAPTION: Greg Smith returns to the line up - his last game was against Staffordshire earlier in the competition.
With Wales unable to call upon the likes of Andy Gorvin, Callum Taylor and Alex Horton due to Glamorgan 2nd XI duty there is a return to national counties cricket for Sean Griffiths. The 27 year old all rounder from Neath made his last appearance for Wales in 2018 - against Wiltshire in the KO Trophy at Warminster but remains 6th highest in the championship run scoring records (1,788 @ 34.38) despite only playing 30 games. The selectors have been quietly knocking on Griffiths door over the last few years but Dad duties have made it difficult to be available....until now. Three day cricket will remain to be a challenge but there can be no better time to bolster both the batting and bowling departments.
CAPTION (John Davies Photography): Sean Griffiths makes his first appearance for Wales since 2018.
Sam Jardine looks set to overcome a slight hamstring strain and will feature - the seamer announced himself to Berkshire last year in the semi final with impressive figures of 4-30 as Wales reduced Berkshire to 182-9; something not a lot of sides have done to the perennial winners over the years. Only Oskar Kolk (41*), Brad Wadlan (23) and Tom Bevan (21) made notable contributions as Wales subsided to 120 all out in reply, ending their hopes of a first final in their history.
Despite it being a much changed side from last year - there is no Kolk, Greg Holmes, Tegid Phillips or Aneurin Norman - it is about the team relishing the challenge as underdogs for Head Coach Darren Thomas. He commented:
"We're excited about it - having played at Falkland on several occasions we know what conditions to expect. Berkshire have been the frontrunners in NCCA cricket for years and showed what a force they are - even with the loss of some senior players - when we played them in the T20 competition earlier this season. We have huge respect for them but as a group we will be prepared and won't be taking a backward step come Sunday. As one of the favourites in the competition this year all the pressure is on them, and we have nothing to lose."
Berkshire will no doubt look to the experienced quartet of Dan Lincoln, Andy Rishton, Luke Beavan and Euan Woods to lead their attack with bat and ball, whilst the in-form Savin Perera is sure to open up the batting on the back of hundreds for Berkshire in the championship last week, Glamorgan 2nd XI and the South Asian Cricket Academy.
Play commences from 11am at Falkland with admittance free for spectators.
Wales NC squad from: HLR Friend (Newport), CR Nicholls (St Fagans), TR Bevan (St Fagans), GM Smith (Penzance), BL Wadlan (Swansea), MJ Bevans (Newport), SW Griffiths (Neath), CL Herring+ (Pontarddulais), SJ Pearce* (Warminster/Bridgend), KA Bull (Potterne), RD Edwards (Neath), P Sisodiya (Cardiff), WS Moore (Carmarthen Wanderers).
CAPTION: Head Coach Darren Thomas know all too well what challenges Berkshire pose.