Schofield disappointed to be leaving

SUFFOLK cricket followers are unlikely to see the likes of Chris Schofield again.The 27-year-old has returned to his rightful place in first class cricket with Surrey after starring for first Cheshire and then Suffolk in the Minor Counties Championship over the last two years.

By Elvin King

SUFFOLK cricket followers are unlikely to see the likes of Chris Schofield again.

The 27-year-old has returned to his rightful place in first class cricket with Surrey after starring for first Cheshire and then Suffolk in the Minor Counties Championship over the last two years.

Tally his 2006 season 32 wickets and 367 runs in five games with his fantastic fielding and the ex-Lancashire star is surely the best professional Suffolk have ever had.

And this is saying something with the likes of (in alphabetical order) Billy Athey, Roland Butcher, Ray East, Robin Hobbs, Devon Malcolm, Dickie Mayes, Timur Mohamed, Cyril Perkins, Derek Randall and Ken Suttle having pulled on a Suffolk sweater.

Phil Caley has been Suffolk skipper since 1994, and he is well aware of Schofield's ability.

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Caley said: “Chris was great value. He is out of the top drawer in every way, and has proved that Lancashire were wrong to let him go.

“The decision to bring him to Suffolk was proved 100% correct and we all wish him well at Surrey.”

Schofield is expected to sign a dual registration with Suffolk and Surrey in 2007, but he will only be available for Suffolk when not required by the Surrey first or second teams.

It is feasible that Schofield will not be able to play any Suffolk matches next year with batsman Ben France - released by Derbyshire in September - a possibly replacement.

Schofield has nothing but praise for his season with Suffolk.

He said: “We came second, but we could not have done more.

“I am indebted to Kevin Brooks for giving me a chance to impress first class counties in the south.

“And with coach Andy Brown, the Suffolk organisation is awesome.

“If we had played Buckinghamshire we would have won the division, and I am sure we would have gone on to hammer Devon in the play-off final.

“It was an excellent squad that was deprived of its just rewards by the weather.

“Although I am delighted to be joining Surrey I am disappointed to be leaving Suffolk.

“They have the ability to go on and win the Minor Counties title over the next two years.”

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