Taylor set for seasonal bow

England batsman Jimmy Taylor is pencilled in to make his first Birmingham League appearance of the season for Shrewsbury at Berkswell on Saturday.

The Nottinghamshire star, the club’s high profile contracted player, contacted captain Rob Foster earlier this week to declare his availability.

Taylor takes his place in a strong 12-man squad also bolstered by the return of opener Ed Foster and Steve Barnard.

Alex Blofield is ruled out through unavailability while Dan Manders, a late call up for last Saturday’s opening premier division win of the season against Dorridge, also drops out.

“Jimmy texted me to say ‘pencil me in for Saturday’ as Nottinghamshire don’t have a game,” said skipper Foster.

“It depends on other commitments and if something else crops up between now and Saturday, but hopefully he will play and it’s always great to have him about.

“It gives everyone a big lift knowing you’ve got someone like Jimmy in your side.”

Taylor, now one-day captain at Trent Bridge, played for Shrewsbury for half a season when he was a pupil at Shrewsbury School and has always kept in touch with the club.

He has been contracted player for the last three seasons but his availability has understandably been limited by his busy itinerary in first class cricket.

Foster, meanwhile, hopes Shrewsbury can now put a run together to lift them up the premier division table after the heroics of Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach, who hit 144, propelled them to a convincing victory over Dorridge.

“We need to string a few wins together to get us back in touch,” he said. “But we know it will be a very tough game at Berkswell who are led by Dominic Ostler, a former Warwickshire player, and have some good players like the former England batsman Darren Maddy.”

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