Former Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh views signing for Suffolk as the potential springboard for a return to the first-class cricket circuit.
Mickleburgh has agreed to play for the Minor County, after failing to secure a contract elsewhere following his release from Essex at the end of last season.
The 26-year-old, who has ten first-class centuries and 21 half-centuries to his name, will add some much-needed experience to Suffolk’s batting during their 2017 campaign.
Mickleburgh is aiming to attract the attentions of first-class counties by scoring heavily for Suffolk in the Unicorns Championship and Copdock & Old Ipswichian in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League this season.
The Norwich-born batsman will be the club’s 1st XI coach, and also coach some of the club’s Juniors as well as coaching at Ipswich School.
Mickleburgh, who was a member of last season’s Essex squad that won promotion to Division One of the County Championship, said: “It was disappointing to be released, but my performances were a little bit inconsistent which led to that happening.
“But we won the league which was a massive achievement and I wish the lads the best of luck in Division One this season.
“I held talks with a few counties, but no-one decided to sign me. I am still hungry to play first-class cricket and I am going back to playing club cricket for Copdock, who have been very good to me.
“I spoke to a few of the players there and also to Suffolk coach Andy Northcote about playing for Suffolk and it was a no-brainer for me.”
Mickleburgh, who represented Norfolk before joining the staff at Chelmsford and making his first-class debut in 2008, continued: “I wasn’t approached by Norfolk, where I grew up playing age group cricket and who were very good to me as they gave me a stepping stone into the first-class game.
“At this point in time Suffolk needed a pro and I am available and in the area so it suits both parties.
“I am very keen to get stuck in and perform to the best of my ability, and the three-day games give me an opportunity to score big runs, and Suffolk have a young side so it will be good to help the younger players develop as well.”
Mickleburgh, who has played for Copdock in the EAPL since 2014 when not required by Essex, said: “I hope to help give us that edge we have been lacking in the last few years to take on Swardeston and close the gap on them to win the league.
“As well as being 1st XI coach I will also be coaching some of the younger players and also working at Ipswich School in the summer term which should be exciting and help give those players some progression.”