Dixon's men in good shape ahead of 2017 season
By Jim Law
Squad bolstered with experience and new options
Cheshire go into the 2017 season optimistic about their opportunities in both the one day and three day competitions.
Chester Boughton Hall's Lee Dixon again captains the side, building on the learnings of a tough first year.
This year he's likely to have some new options available whilst also being able to bolster the side with some well known faces.
"2016 was a bit of a learning curve," remarked Dixon. "At times we played some excellent cricket but all too often we crumbled under pressure and perhaps missed a little bit of experience.
"I'm therefore delighted that we're likely to see the return of stoic opening bat Danny Leech from Oulton Park (who last played for the county in 2009 and was part of Cheshire's Championship winning side of 2007) along with Hyde's James Duffy. Both will be available at times during the summer and will bring vital experience."
Leech has been in outstanding form for his club in recent years and his return will bring much needed stability to the top order. Duffy, a previous Cheshire captain is widely viewed as one of the most destructive batsmen in the Cheshire County League.
In addition, Dixon's bowling attack is sharpened with the addition of Wayne White, previously with Derbyshire and now playing his club cricket for Leek, and with the potential inclusion of ex-Leicestershire right armer Ollie Freckingham who will play his cricket in the county league this year.
"With the possible inclusion of Jimmy Warrington and arguably the best spin attack in minor counties cricket - Danny Woods, Jack Williams and Harry Killoran - Dixon is relishing the season ahead.
"It's important we get off to a good start. Too often in recent times we've struggled early on in the one-dayers and then got going too late. With the potential firepower available to us, it should be an interesting summer."
Cheshire have a couple of prestige fixtures in addition to their league and cup games this year.
They will take on a Lancashire 2nd XI in a 50 over friendly at Chester Boughton Hall on Wednesday 3 May and play the inaugural Cheshire v Staffordshire T20 challenge match at Nantwich on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 May.
First XI fixtures.