THREE-DAY Minor Counties Championship cricket will return to Copdock for the first time in 15 years next season.

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You have to go back to July 1998 and a drawn match against Northumberland in which ex-England batsman Derek Randall scored an undefeated 115 in Suffolk’s second innings, to find the last time the county played a three-day fixture at Copdock’s Old London Road ground.

Copdock were due to stage a one-day Minor Counties KO Trophy match for the first time in six years last season, but the fixture against Lincolnshire on April 22 was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to the wet weather.

However, Copdock & OI drew praise from Suffolk officials for the way in which they went about staging the scheduled fixture, and they have now been rewarded with a three-day match.

Copdock & OI will host the game against Northumberland from August 4-6, with the club jointly staging what is thought to be the first-ever European Club Cricket Tournament on the following two days.

The three-day tournament is being staged in conjunction with nearby Ipswich Cricket Club, starting at their Clay Hall ground on the third and final day of the championship match.

Suffolk secretary Toby Pound said: “Copdock & Old Ipswichian were due to host a one-day match for us last season, which was sadly rained off without any play.

“They were particularly keen to hold a championship fixture there during their cricket festival and we were given all the right assurances that the ground and the wicket will be as we need it.

“So instead of having two championship fixtures at Bury St Edmunds as we did last season, we thought it would be better to spread the fixtures around.

“Like last season it is a reward for Copdock’s success in achieving East Anglian Premier League status and for being the major club in the Ipswich area.”

Suffolk Fixtures 2013

All matches start at 11am

Friendly

April 21: Essex II v Suffolk, at Billericay

Minor Counties

KO Trophy

May 5: Suffolk v Shropshire, at Ipswich School

May 19: Wiltshire v Suffolk, at Devizes

May 26: Suffolk v Norfolk, at Bury St Edmunds

June 2: Lincolnshire v Suffolk, at Bracebridge Heath

June 16: Quarter-finals

July 14: Semi-finals

Final - To be confirmed

Minor Counties Championship

Eastern Division

June 9-11: Lincolnshire v Suffolk, Sleaford

June 23-25: Suffolk v Cambridgeshire, at Bury St Edmunds

July 7-9: Suffolk v Staffordshire, at Ipswich School

July 21-23: Buckinghamshire v Suffolk, Gerrards Cross

August 4-6: Suffolk v Northumberland, Copdock

August 18-20: Cumberland v Suffolk, Sedbergh School

September 8-11: Championship play-off final

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