Shropshire have strengthened their squad ahead of the new National Counties Cricket Association season with four new signings - including top order batter Tom Fell.

The ex Worcestershire ace is joined by former Worcestershire and England under-19 opener Ollie Westbury, experienced seamer Andy Sutton and top order batter James Middleton.

Sutton was the leading wicket taker in the Birmingham Premier League last season while Middleton is another consistent Birmingham League performer.

Shropshire’s new head of cricket Ed Home hailed the new signings.

Fell, 29, has played 97 first-class matches, scoring 4,485 runs at an average of 28.75, with a career-best score of 171 against Middlesex in 2015.

He has also hit 1,541 runs in 52 List A matches at an average of 33.50, with his highest score an unbeaten 116 against Lancashire in 2016.  

Fell plays his club cricket for Wolverhampton and scored over 900 Birmingham League runs to help them gain promotion last season.

Westbury, 25, struck 196 on his England under-19 debut against Sri Lanka in 2016.


He played four first-team matches for Worcestershire, including two in the County Championship, before leaving at the end of the 2020 season.

A former Shrewsbury School pupil who used to play his club cricket for Shrewsbury, Westbury now captains Himley. 

Sutton, 37, who had a spell with Somerset earlier in his career, took 68 Birmingham League wickets for Barnt Green last season. 

Middleton, 28, a former Staffordshire player, is a top order batter who has also kept wicket for Knowle & Dorridge and averaged over 50 with the bat in the Birmingham League last season.

Shropshire’s head of cricket Home said: "I’m very excited that Tom Fell, who actually played junior cricket for Shropshire at under-10s level and has family in the county, has signed and it’s nice to have him involved.  

“He’s still a young man in terms of batting and is very keen to carry on scoring runs. He’s a top player who has a lot to offer and we saw during the winter training he was happy to share his experience and knowledge with the squad. 

"I’m delighted to have Ollie Westbury back with Shropshire because he was schooled in the county and played a few games for us when he was with Shrewsbury CC. He wants to play in all formats and like Tom has a good pedigree and loves batting.

"James Middleton has played a lot of cricket. He was at Staffordshire and also played a few Leicestershire 2nd XI games. Year in year out he’s one of the best performers in the Birmingham League.

“Andy Sutton took more wickets than anybody in the Birmingham League last year. His bowling expertise is obviously what everybody will focus on and he’s been very successful over a number of years."

Home has been impressed with what he’s seen from the Shropshire squad during winter nets at Ellesmere College

He said: "It is great to see several of our players performing with distinction early in the season for their respective universities against first class opposition. 

“We are very happy with our players and all the way through have good people involved both on the field and also behind the scenes supporting.”  

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