Whitchurch chairman Rod Jones believes Shropshire’s decision to start their season at Heath Road with a one-day match will benefit the club.

The minor county will play their first revamped Unicorns Trophy, now a straight knockout, match at the home of Whitchurch on April 29 against Herefordshire and again in June against Buckinghamshire.

While Shropshire has usually played three-day games at Whitchurch – who returned to the Birmingham League after one year out – Jones feels their small numbers will be able to cope much better with just one-day games.

“We understand that Shropshire are spreading the matches around the county to be fair and we are delighted to be offered two one-dayers,” he said.

“The first match is in the Unicorns Trophy against Herefordshire in April and the second game is in June against Buckinghamshire.

“Looking at it, it’s probably better in some ways, as running a three-dayer takes a lot of organising and manpower for our small team of helpers. So we can perhaps cope better with the one day format.

“We also pride ourselves on hosting these sort of matches as we’ve been voted best ground in the Shropshire County league, for 2107, which gives us the chance to show what we have to offer.”

The winners of the match at Heath Road will be away to Staffordshire in the second round on Sunday, May 20.

A new Unicorns T20 competition will be introduced this season with Shropshire looking to progress from a five-team group.

The county will host Oxfordshire at Shrewsbury on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7 and Buckinghamshire at Whitchurch on Sunday, June 17.

Shropshire will also have T20 away group games against Berkshire at Wargrave on Sunday, May 6 and Herefordshire at Colwall on Sunday, May 27.

The four group winners will go forward to take part in the finals day to be played at Wormsley later in the season.

Shropshire will begin their three-day campaign in the Unicorns Championship against Cheshire at Shifnal from June 24-26.

Three successive away games will follow against Herefordshire at Eastnor between July 8-10, Berkshire at Finchampstead from July 22-24 and Dorset at Bournemouth between August 5-7.

Then will come home matches for Shropshire against Wales at Oswestry from August 19-21 and Devon at Bridgnorth between September 2-4.

Shropshire’s popular annual hospitality day, the Pure Telecom Challenge, will take place at Wrekin College on Thursday, July 5.