CHESHIRE begin their Minor Counties Championship season in Chester on Sunday - and skipper Andy Hall is relishing the challenge awaiting his players.

Hall has already seen his team qualify for the semi-finals of the Minor Counties Knockout Trophy having won three one-day matches in Group A.

And he is understandably confident Cheshire can make a winning start to this year's three-day campaign when Cheshire host Devon at Chester Boughton Hall CC, where play is scheduled to run from Sunday to Tuesday.

'It's been a case of mission accomplished so far having got through to the semi-finals of the Knockout Trophy,' said Hall, who top-scored with 65 as Cheshire beat Cumberland by five wickets at Barrow in Sunday's final group match.

'But we must put the semi-final on the back-burner and concentrate on starting the three-day season with a win.

'Devon have probably been the most consistent Minor Counties side during the last five to 10 years, so we know it's going to be tough.'

Cheshire also play Devon in the semi-finals of the Knockout Trophy, again at Chester Boughton Hall, on Sunday, July 1. The winner of that match will book an appearance in the final at Lord's in August, but Hall isn't look too far ahead as selection problems are hindering the county's selection plans for this Sunday.

All-rounder Jason Whittaker, David Fitzsimmons and Ismail Dawood are unlikely to play because of work.

Hall said: 'It looks like we're going to be missing a few play-ers, but it gives some of the players who have not had a chance yet to come in and stake a claim for a place.

'We've played at Chester during the last few seasons, so hopefully we can find some form there again this year. It's a good wicket at Chester and it usually turns on the third day, so we'll be prepared.'

Admission is free for all three days of the match and on Sunday the club have organised a barbecue for spectators. Parking is free and play starts at 11am each day.