Wales National County have named a strong side for their NCCA One Day Cup opener against Buckinghamshire at High Wycombe on Sunday.
After a cancelled NCCA season in 2020, and a curtailed pre-season campaign this April which saw only one warm up friendly completed due to COVID-19 restrictions and weather, Wales head up the M4 eager to hit the ground running in a strong group which contains Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and current holders Berkshire. Both sides will head into the game without much knowledge of each other, with the two sides meeting only 7 times in one day cricket before, with the last Championship meeting being in 1991 at Colwyn Bay before Bucks departed the old Western Division in 1992.
In terms of team news, captain Sam Pearce will be delighted to have an abundance of options available to him to kickstart the year. New recruit Steven Reingold is set to make his Wales NC debut at the top of the order - 22 year old Reingold who plays his club cricket at Neath has impressed in the early stages of the season, scoring an impressive 68 for Cardiff UCCE against Glamorgan before being a regular feature for Glamorgan 2nd XI in Championship cricket. Reingold also offers some useful off spin to compliment the likes of Tegid Phillips and Tom Bevan.
There are returns to the side for St Fagans skipper Andrew Gorvin and Cardiff captain Greg Holmes who remains one of Wales' premium run scorers in 50 over cricket at both national counties level and club cricket in recent times. Cameron Herring, fit after using the early few league games to establish his fitness after injury last winter will resume wicketkeeping duties.
Despite the lack of preparation, Head Coach Darren Thomas is looking for the team to set down an early marker of intent to the rest of the group. He said, "Sunday’s match against Bucks provides a great opportunity to showcase the talent we have in this squad of players. We have a clear brand of cricket that Sam, the boys and I are targeting, which should be exciting to see evolve.
Sunday is about us getting our own game in order; players being clear in their roles, executing game plans with both bat and ball, and then seizing those key moments during the game. If we play with the precision we are capable of then we will be a match for anyone in the competition and we're excited for the challenge.
We are quietly confident of the team selected- there’s excellent bowling options, a lot of depth to the batting and our athleticism in the field should be right up there."
Buckinghamshire are sure to feature former Netherlands and Worcestershire batter Alexei Kervezee in their XI. 31 year old Kervezee amassed over 8,500 runs in first-class cricket (red and white ball) across more than 280 appearances as well as 39 ODI appearances for Holland. Current Cardiff UCCE batting all rounder AJ Woodland will be the only familiar face for Wales as he lines up against his student teammates.
The game starts at 11am on Sunday, and live scores should be available via Play Cricket.
Wales NC from: SJ Pearce* (Bridgend), TR Bevan (St Fagans), SJ Reingold (Neath), CR Brown, OMD Kolk (both Lansdown), GC Holmes (Cardiff), CL Herring+ (Pontarddulais), AW Gorvin (St Fagans), AJ Norman (Mumbles), TD Phillips (Cardiff), RD Edwards (Port Talbot), MJ Bevans (Newport).