Stone steps up comeback with Norfolk as ex-England bowler heads for Manor Park
Olly Stone will step up his injury comeback by playing in just his second Unicorns Championship game for Norfolk since 2011.
The England Lions fast bowler damaged knee ligaments in June last year when playing for Northamptonshire in the T20 Blast but has joined Warwickshire in the meantime.
The 23-year-old is set to feature in the final match of the Norfolk Festival of Cricket, against Bedfordshire tomorrow – who will have former England spinner Monty Panesar in their team.Norfolk skipper Chris Brown explained: “Olly played in a T20 game a few weeks ago and we’ve been communicating in the past month, and as part of his rehab he needed some overs. So he spoke to Warwickshire about it and they said he can play.
“He’s moved to Warwickshire, which is a Division One club and unfortunately he’s got injured but hopefully he can now stay injury-free and if he does, who knows, you could easily see him in England colours one day.”
Lewis Denmark also returns from injury in place of the unavailable Jason Reynolds, with John Ewart missing out due to Stone playing, as Norfolk look to bounce back after losing by six wickets against Cumberland on Tuesday – in a dramatic final over.
“It was a thrilling finish and for the spectators it was brilliant to watch,” Brown continued.
“But when we reviewed the game afterwards there were two key areas we need to improve and that was our first innings batting and catching, because our bowling unit has been really good all year.
“So we’re looking to put in a performance against Bedfordshire and we’ve got Olly back in so that will aid us to hopefully get a good result.”
Panesar took 167 wickets in 50 Tests for England and at 35 years old is now turning out for his home county.
“Obviously a few years ago he and Graham Swann were very instrumental in England’s success in the spin department,” Brown added.
“So it will be good experience for the younger players who haven’t faced a player of his stature before.”
Norfolk: James Spelman, Sam Arthurton, James Hale, Rob Taylor, Lewis Denmark, Ben France, Olly Stone, Chris Brown (C), Brett Stolworthy. Ben Coote, Sam Groves (WK)