Joseph and Sykes given early Leicestershire chance

Leicestershire have included new recruits Robbie Joseph and James Sykes in their squad for their pre-season tour to Barbados.

Slow left-armer Sykes, who will be 20 next month, has joined Leicestershire’s staff full time having graduated from the Grace Road academy. He impressed in second team cricket last season having previously played Minor Counties cricket for Cambridgeshire.

Former England Lions pace bowler Joseph was released by Kent last September but has been given the chance to resurrect his county career with Leicestershire who have recruited him on a three-month contract.

New overseas recruit Ramnaresh Sarwan is the only absentee from Leicestershire’s squad. The former West Indies captain was expected to link up with the county in the Caribbean but his commitments with Guyana mean that this will not be possible.

“The original plan was that Ramnaresh would link up and have ten days with us, but he is still playing for Guyana,” said Leicestershire coach Phil Whitticase.

“I prefer that he is playing cricket. It is important that he gets plenty of cricket under his belt before he joins us. But he is thoroughly looking forward to the season.”

Leicestershire are taking 16 players and five support staff, including new batting coach Ben Smith, to Barbados for a tour that should provide them with some warm weather practice and allow time for the relaid outfield at Grace Road to bed in.

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