Manuel to miss first month of season

Worcestershire batsman Jack Manuel will miss at least the first month of the new season after undergoing a shoulder operation.

The Staffordshire-based former England Under-19 batsman was forced to return home early from a stint playing for the Joondalup club in Western Australia because of the injury which he suffered while swimming.

Manuel had scans last week and was immediately booked in for an operation to tighten the shoulder. He is expected to be back playing again by mid-May.

But there is better news for Worcestershire’s left-arm seamer Jack Shantry who was also forced to return early from Australia.

Shantry suffered a knee problem playing for the Campelltown-Camden club in Sydney and booked himself on a flight home to be assessed by Worcestershire’s medical staff.

Having been examined by new club physiotherapist Ben Davies, Shantry is expected to be able to resume bowling when Worcestershire report back for pre-season training full time next month.

Meanwhile Worcestershire seamer Alan Richardson has spent part of his winter studying for his first FA coaching badge. Richardson has been coaching cricket part time at Shrewsbury School, which is also one of the stronger footballing schools.

Richardson, a long-suffering Stoke City supporter, has now decided to gain some football coaching qualifications to broaden his skill base as he thinks about a career after cricket.

Worcestershire’s Clydesdale Bank 40 group match away to Holland has been confirmed for the VOC club in Rotterdam on July 18.

The VOC club successfully hosted two CB40 matches when Holland rejoined the competition last season and has again been chosen as one of three home grounds by the Netherlands Cricket Board. It will also stage Holland’s match against Kent on July 17 with the games against Sussex (July 30) and Yorkshire (July 31) being played at the VRA club ground at Amstelveen near Amsterdam.

But matches will not be played at Schiedam near The Hague this year because the Excelsior club was already booked for the scheduled slots in mid May. Instead, the Salland club at Deventer in the east of Holland will host the CB40 matches against Middlesex on May 12 and Derbyshire on May 17.

Deventer last hosted a county match in 1999 when Cambridgeshire were the visitors for a NatWest Bank Trophy first round tie which Holland won by eight wickets.

Meanwhile, Holland have offered Joint Pro contracts to Worcestershire batsman Alexei Kervezee, Essex all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate and South Australia batsman Tom Cooper, who are all in their current World Cup squad.

Holland captain Peter Borren and all-rounder Wesley Barresi have also agreed full-time contracts and 16 players have been offered incremental deals which cover international, county and tour fixtures.

Former Warwickshire batsman Tim Gruijters is currently recovering from a back injury but he is expected to be in contention for an incremental contract when he regains form and fitness.

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