Thursday 31 May 2007 

Academy Prepare To Face Masters

The Essex Academy will face the PCA Masters in a Twenty20 floodlit challenge match at The Ford County Ground on Thursday June 14.

Grab the opportunity to watch some of the stars of the future up against some former county cricket favourites, including Essex’s Paul Prichard and Peter Such.

Play is scheduled to get underway at 7.00pm and admission will be free.

Essex Academy Director John Childs told the Essex CCC website (www.essexcricket.org.uk):

“The PCA Masters are playing six games against county academy sides this year but this is the only Twenty20 game. There is no doubting, I believe, this is quite an exciting venture and we know that Twenty20 cricket stimulates the younger element who are not much younger or the same age as those who will be going out onto the field. On that basis they can watch and then perhaps have more self-belief in themselves to also want to get on the Academy. That for me is what it all boils down to.

“At the end of the summer once the PCA Masters have played against all the counties they will select one young player to go with them to Sri Lanka on their end-of-year tour - so that’s an added incentive for our players.

“The history of our Academy has shown that we have produced seven contracted players (Tony Palladino, Zoheb Sharif, Varun Chopra, Jahid Ahmed, Mervyn Westfield, Maurice Chambers, Tom Westley) and one England player (Alastair Cook) so it does show that the Academy does work and, looking at our Academy at the moment, without naming names, I would like to think there are two or three players there who are showing really great signs that they will be signing professional contracts in the not-too-distant future. It is acknowledged the people who support the County are always keen to see the future of the Club featuring home-grown Essex players and this remains our intention.”

The Provisional PCA Masters squad to face the Essex Academy includes the following players:

Steve Marsh, Paul Taylor, Chris Cairns, Darren Bicknell, Paul Prichard, Ismail Dawood, Peter Such, Simon Kellett, Chris Lewis, Martin McCague

More information about the Essex Academy is available in their section on the Essex CCC website here:

www.essexcricket.org.uk/xt_academy.htm

For more information on the PCA Masters visit their website:

www.thepca.co.uk