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Stratford stars in action as Warwickshire faces tough struggle at Summer Inter-County Cup Championship

FORMER Stratford-on-Avon tennis coach Natasha Hillyer and Stratford’s Cameron Malik will be crucial members of the Warwickshire county squads which are bidding to win promotion at the Summer Inter-County Cup Championships this week.

Natasha Hillyer. (58035355)
Natasha Hillyer. (58035355)

The highly-experienced Hillyer will be leading captain Katie Shaw’s young side as they battle to bounce back to the elite level of from Group 2 in Manchester.

Malik, a senior coach at Warwick Boat Club, will be among the stalwarts in captain Gavin Henderson’s Warwickshire men’s squad in Group 4 at Worthing, as they battle for promotion after narrowly missing out last year.

Warwickshire Ladies, who excelled when winning their group at the Winter Indoor County Cup in December, are missing several rising stars, including Katie Malazonia, Lizzie Massie, Mary Hoggard, former national junior champion Lily Mould and Hampton Lucy's Lucia Cassidy, through tournament and coaching commitments or injury.

However, the county can still field a hard core of seasoned county players. Former junior international Hillyer and the big-hitting Summer Yardley (Solihull) should start at first pair against the well-balanced Leicestershire side on day one, which starts today, Monday, with Tamara Malazonia (Birmingham), top junior Lois Porter (Balsall Common), Kara Biggs (Warwick Boat Club), the consistent Marianne O’Farrell (Sutton Coldfield) and former junior international Madison Rumney likely to provide the other pairings.

Cameron Malik. (58035384)
Cameron Malik. (58035384)

Henderson is also without several big-name players. He is minus British junior champion Luca Pow, 17, abroad on international duty, and Luke Simkiss, playing a futures event in Portugal.

Last year’s stand-outs Luke Hammond and Max Stewart both have coaching commitments in the US, however, the big-hitting Malik, Alex Griffiths (Birmingham) and Karan Tumba look set to lift the squad.

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