Tuesday 10 April 2007 

Essex News Ahead Of Middlesex Friendly

Essex face Middlesex in one-day friendly matches on Tuesday and Wednesday at The Ford County Ground.

Other playing commitments and injuries mean Essex must shuffle their pack with a squad of 16 likely to feature across the two days.

You can follow both games via the Essex CCC website at www.essexcricket.org.uk with regular score and match updates in the ECCC Diary.

Team News

England batsman Alastair Cook, fresh from a century in Friday’s match against Surrey, will play his final match for the County prior to the season in Tuesday’s opening clash with Middlesex. The left-hander then joins up with the MCC squad in his role as captain for their match against champion county Sussex at Lord’s (April 13-16).

Mark Pettini gets his first opportunity as wicketkeeper during the friendly matches with James Foster set to sit it out on Tuesday. Young bowler Jahid Ahmed makes his first appearance in the warm-ups on Tuesday while former Essex player Andrew McGarry and 17-year-old Michael Comber from the Academy are due to bolster the seam attack on Wednesday.

Darren Thomas (shoulder), Graham Napier (elbow), Tim Phillips (shoulder injury and wisdom teeth removal) are all still missing through injury (check out the Essex CCC website for a fitness bulletin later this week).

Ravinder Bopara (England) and Andre Nel (South Africa) are both with their respective nations at the World Cup while Danish Kaneria’s arrival date from Pakistan is still to be confirmed.

The provisional format for each day comprises of 50-overs-per-side games with play starting at 11.00am and admission free (please note: format and start times are subject to change as these games are designed to provide match practice for the players ahead of the season).

Essex squad:
Alastair Cook, Ronnie Irani, Varun Chopra, Ryan ten Doeschate, James Middlebrook, Grant Flower, Tom Westley, Mervyn Westfield, Mark Pettini, Maurice Chambers, Tony Palladino, Jahid Ahmed, James Foster, Alex Tudor, Michael Comber (Academy), Andrew McGarry (trialist)

Opposition

Recently-appointed Middlesex captain Ed Smith brings his side to The Ford County Ground on the back of sharing the spoils in their opening friendly double-header with Gloucestershire last Thursday and Friday. Legendary former Essex bowler John Lever could make a return to his old stomping ground in his new role as Middlesex bowling coach with ex-Surrey bowler Tim Murtagh among his charges.

Extra information

Meteor Way Car Park will not be available to members for any of our friendly matches.

Smoking Ban

To comply with the Health Act 2006 Essex County Cricket Club has adopted a smoking ban in all stands, seated areas, enclosed areas, buildings, doorways, staircases and all food and drink dispensing areas. Smoking will only be permitted in other areas of the ground (i.e. pathways, car parks and where the red smoking boxes are located).