Dawood and Syddall handed Cheshire debuts

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC press officer 07813 859986)

NEW signings Ismail Dawood and Adam Syddall are set to make their debuts for Cheshire when the county clash with Northumberland in the their first match of the season on Sunday (6 May) at Grappenhall Cricket Club.

Dawood impressed on his debut for Urmston in The Right Move Abroad Cheshire County League ECB Premier Division on Saturday, scoring 47 in his side's impressive seven-wicket win over Chester Boughton Hall.

The former Yorkshire wicketkeeper/batsman will not keep wicket for the county, instead he will focus his attentions on impressing with willow rather his trusty keeping gloves.

Syddall, meanwhile, is hopeful he can shine with ball on his county debut having signed to play for Bowdon in the Premier Division.

However, there are no places for former Derbyshire batsman Chris Bassano (Oulton Park) and Bramhall's Nick Cantello, one of the county's success stories last season.

"We've got a very strong team and unfortunately some players have missed out this time," said Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.

"There's healthy competition for places, so everyone knows they'll be under pressure to perform because there's players looking to take their places."

Stumps are pitched at 11.00am on Sunday for the first of four 50 over MCCA Knockout Cup one-day matches for Cheshire.

Last season the county won one match, lost one match and were frustrated by rain which washed out their two other fixtures.

One of the those abandoned fixtures was against Northumberland, with Hall's men setting a respectable 235-7 from their allotted 50 overs before the heavens opened and play was stopped.

"It was frustrating against Northumberland last year, but what can you about the weather?" added Hall.

"For some reason we've not performed in the Knockout Cup for the last few seasons, so hopefully this season we can do ourselves justice.

"The weather hasn't helped and we had a bowl out the other year, but I've said before that if we win our group, then we'd only have to win one match to get the chance to play at Lords. That sort of opportunity doesn't come around very often."

No fewer than four players from Premier Division champions Oulton Park have been selected for the side, while Hyde have three first-team players in the frame.

The county also welcome back experienced, and popular all-rounder Jason Whittaker. The talented seamer and right-hand bat was absent for much of last season.

Cheshire team: capt - Andy Hall, wkt kpr - Matt Dawson (Bramhall); Danny Leech, Ben Spendlove, Nathan Dumelow, Guy Emmett (Oulton Park); Ismail Dawood (Urmston); James Duffy, Dan Woods, Tom Youngs (Hyde); Jason Whittaker (Walshaw); Adam Syddall (Bowdon). Scorer: Jim Law (Chester Boughton Hall).

Cheshire's 2007 fixtures:
MCCA Knockout Cup (Round-robin matches) - May 6 v Northumberland @ Grappenhall; May 13 v Hereforshire @ Colwall; May 20 v Shropshire @ Christleton; June 3 v Cumberland @ Barrow.

MCCA Three-day Championship - June 10-12 v Devon @ Chester Boughton Hall; June 24-26 v Berkshire @ Finchampstead; July 8-10 v Dorset @ Dean Park; July 22-24 v Wiltshire @ Alderley Edge; August 5-7 v Oxfordshire @ Banbury; August 19-21 v Shropshire @ Nantwich.

Resource Bank Inter-County 20/20 Knockout - July 12 v Lashings, Shropshire and Staffordshire @ Wellington, Shropshire.