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By Nick Garnham
Monday, December 31, 2012
THREE-DAY Minor Counties Championship cricket will return to Copdock for the first time in 15 years next season.
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
April 21: Essex II v Suffolk, at Billericay
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
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