Wales have named their 13 man squad for the second NCCA showcase encounter against Glamorgan, on Sunday at Sophia Gardens.
It's a much changed side from the team that won by 2 wickets in last year's inaugural tie, with the likes of Oskar Kolk, Greg Holmes, Steve Reingold and Lukas Carey not involved. Kolk (Royal Marines) and Holmes haven't featured all season for Wales but Carey and Reingold have played white ball cricket earlier in the year without making the team sheet in recent weeks.
There are plenty of players back for a second bite at the apple - former Glamorgan staffer Connor Brown (fresh from a match winning 87 in the three day championship this week against Wiltshire), lines up alongside the evergreen Richard Edwards who starred with a three wicket burst with the new ball last year which included overseas international Hamish Rutherford. The 27 year old from Port Talbot has been in fine form across both T20 and 50 over cricket for Wales this season having retired from the red ball format at the start of the season.
CAPTION (Huw Evans Agency): Richard Edwards enjoyed bowling against Glamorgan last year taking 3 wickets.
Tom Bevan will line up in Wales colours despite breaking into the Glamorgan playing staff this summer, after hammering four centuries for the 2nd XI across red and white ball cricket. The 22 year old who plays for St Fagans made his Vitality Blast debut at Chelmsford for Glamorgan earlier in the month, and has made as strong a case as any to be included in Glamorgan's imminent Royal London One Day Cup plans. He will be joined by explosive keeper-batter Alex Horton who lines up against his current employers in the absence Wales' regular gloveman Cameron Herring. The highly touted England U19 international played for Wales earlier in the month against Graham Wagg's Shropshire.
CAPTION: Tom Bevan is one to watch for Wales as he stakes a claim for a first full time professional contract.
Andrew Gorvin, who was rewarded with a first professional contract by Glamorgan at the end of last season for his fine form for the 2nd XI and Wales, will again line up for Wales like he did last year - off spinner Tegid Phillips who also obtained a rookie contract follows suit.
Those that follow league cricket around Wales will be intrigued to see the inclusion of Brad Wadlan who skippers Wales in Sam Pearce's absence. 33 year old Wadlan has been prolific in amateur cricket over the years and is closing in on reaching 1000 runs for Swansea again this year. Upon returning to the Wales fold this season as a playing assistant coach, Wadlan returned the best ever figures in a match (12-71) last month whilst also scoring a century against Devon in the same match. Whilst the likelihood of Wadlan adding to his 22 List A games or 15 First Class games (all in Zimbabwe) remains unlikely, there are sure to be many watching on as to how he fares against the current professionals.
Spectators will have the best opportunity to cast their eye on some of the talent coming through the Welsh system also, with the likes of Ben Morris, Morgan Bevans and Ben Kellaway also set to feature for Wales. Fast bowler Morris has raced through the ranks after making his County Age Group debut at 14, picking up 5 wickets on his national counties debut last year and performing well for Glamorgan 2nd XI. Bevans' name will ring bells for keen followers who will remember his pre-season century against Glamorgan back in April whilst Kellaway remains one of the brightest talents within Glamorgan's academy to date.
CAPTION (Carl Robertson Photos): Brad Wadlan will lead Wales against Glamorgan.
Lorenzo Machado, Harry Friend and Jason Foulkes are the ones the miss out on making the Wales squad. They join Pearce, Herring, Reingold, former Glamorgan spinner Kieran Bull (ECB club competition duty) and Greg Smith on the sidelines. Sam Jardine keeps his place in the XI after some strong performances with bat and ball in the white ball format this season, whilst academy batter Callum Nicholls and Wales U18 paceman Will Moore are included in the matchday squad.
For Head Coach Darren Thomas, it's about doing the basics well and giving Glamorgan another run for their money. He commented, "we gave a really good account of ourselves last year which to be honest, wasn't a surprise given how well the lads performed in the one day trophy last season. To get the win was a deserved reward for the standards we've continually tried to set ourselves, and if it did contribute towards Glamorgan upping their game for the RLODC then clearly it was a win for all of us across Welsh cricket! We know that they'll want to get one over us this time around though, so we'll need to be at our best again."
Director of Cricket for Glamorgan Mark Wallace was of a similar mind as he said, "we're really looking forward to playing against Wales NC again and hopefully we can get some payback for last year. They're a strong side, full of good players and it will be perfect preparation for us as we gear up to defend the Royal London Cup."
Wales NC squad vs Glamorgan from: TR Bevan (St Fagans), AJ Horton+ (Newport/Newbridge), CR Brown (Lansdown), BL Wadlan* (Swansea), MJ Bevans (Newport), BI Kellaway (Chepstow), AW Gorvin (St Fagans), TD Phillips (Cardiff), SJ Jardine (Neath), RD Edwards (Neath), BJ Morris (Abergavenny), CR Nicholls (St Fagans), WS Moore (Carmarthen Wanderers).
The all Welsh affair, whilst being held at Sophia Gardens for operational and logistical reasons, is effectively a national counties home game with tickets on sale for £8 for adults, just £2 for U17s and £5 for students with Glamorgan CCC members able to attend free of charge.
Tickets can be purchased here: https://tickets.glamorgancricket.com/
Gates open from 10am with play commencing from 11am, complete with a live stream and BBC ball-by-ball commentary.