Shropshire's cricketers are relishing the chance to play in front of their biggest crowd of the season when they take on an Invitation XI in a special challenge match.
The annual ResourceBank challenge at Wrekin College in Wellington is renowned as a popular day in the county club's calendar with all 600 available places in the hospitality marquee for this year's event sold out.
Shropshire chairman Toby Shaw said he was thrilled with the response from the local business community in supporting the event.
And he now hopes local cricket fans will take advantage of the free admission by taking their place around the boundary to watch some top class action at the upcoming July 2012 match.
“The event is sold out,” confirmed the chairman. “We've got 600 people in the hospitality marquee which is up by 80 from last year. I'm delighted about that.
“This is the seventh year we've held this event and it gets bigger and better each time. It's become an extremely popular social event which is reflected in the number of people that come along.
“It's a great advert for the county club, it puts us on the map, and it's also a very important day financially for Shropshire cricket.
“This is an occasion we always look forward to and I know it's a day that lots of other Minor Counties clubs would love to be able to replicate,” he added.
As well as captaining Shropshire, Ed Foster will again help to put the Invitation Xl together, with the county side excited about being confronted by some star names.
Former Leicestershire and England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon and ex-Worcestershire captain Ben Smith will both take their place in a strong side also featuring overseas stars currently playing their club cricket locally.
Western Australian Michael Johnson, Wellington's professional for the 2012 season, and Shrewsbury's big hitting South African Ryan Bishop have both confirmed their availability.
Foster said: “We'll be up against a strong and talented side and it's always a great day, one that the players really look forward to.
“It's become an important day for Shropshire County Cricket Club commercially and Toby Shaw has once again done a great job in ensuring the hospitality area is sold out.
“That means there will be lots of people there and it's always good fun to play in front of big crowds.”
The first ball at Wrekin College on July 12 will be bowled at 11am with Shropshire facing the Invitation XI in two Twenty20 matches.
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