Opener Leach excited to be back on county duty

Promising Shropshire opening batsman Steve Leach hopes the runs will continue to flow as he looks forward to the county's first home game of the season in the Unicorns Championship this weekend.

Shropshire, having started their Championship campaign with an eight-wicket defeat at Wales earlier this month, are targeting a much improved display against Herefordshire in a three-day match at Shifnal which starts on Sunday.

Shrewsbury batsman Leach, 20, topped the Shropshire batting averages last season, hitting 453 Championship runs at an impressive average of 64.71.

He was unavailable for the Wales game as he was playing for Oxford University against Middlesex, but he's looking forward to making his seasonal bow against Herefordshire.

He said: "I was disappointed to miss the Wales game and it was obviously disappointing for the team not to get off to a winning start, but I've been champing at the bit to get involved with Shropshire again.

"I had been due to play in the one-day game at Cumberland earlier in the season which was rained off so that was frustrating.

"On a personal note, I'm really excited about the Herefordshire game and I'm looking forward to it. The three-day format is a great format which I enjoy."

Leach was pleased with his own contribution with the bat in the five Championship matches he played last season, admitting he would love a similar return this year: "I would be happy if I could do the same this time," he said. 

Leach, the younger brother of Worcestershire all-rounder Joe, is confident Shropshire can enjoy another strong season and build on the bright form they so often showed last year.

"There were a lot of positives to emerge for us in the three-day game last year," he stressed. "We've got a lot of good players and it's very refreshing that Toby Shaw, the chairman, and Brian Foxall, the chairman of selectors, are backing the young players to come through."

Leach added he had enjoyed the experience of making his first class debut for Oxford University earlier this season in matches against Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire. 

"I worked really hard at my game over the winter so it's been really good to test myself against first class players," he said.

The first ball at Shifnal on Sunday will be bowled at 11am and admission to all three days is free.

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