Friday 9 March 2007 

Essex Squad For Tour Of Middle East Named

Essex have named a 15-man playing squad for their pre-season tour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The squad leave for the Middle East on Saturday (see ‘Essex set for Middle East’ for full itinerary) and will be joined by Alan Lilley (Tour Manager), Paul Grayson (Coach) and Mark Thomas (Physio).

Maurice Chambers (college commitments), Jahid Ahmed (rehab – see ‘Fitness Bulletin’ on the Essex CCC website), Ravinder Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate, Andre Nel and Danish Kaneria (World Cup duty) are all unavailable for the trip.

Academy player Tom Westley, who will be 18 on Tuesday (March 13), is the youngest member of the touring party.

Essex Academy Director John Childs believes Westley will acquit himself well on tour:

“As a semi-professional, Tom has a small foot in a big camp and a big foot in a small camp at the moment. After an opportunity arose following Darren Gough’s departure Ronnie Irani (Captain) and Paul Grayson (Coach) decided they would like to give Tom this chance.

“Tom was picked out last year by Graham Gooch (Batting Coach) and Keith Fletcher (Cricket Development Coach) and while his performances didn’t stand out he is one of those identified as having what it takes to move his game forward. That’s what he has been doing this winter in Australia (at the Paul Terry Aus Cricket Academy in Perth under the Graham Gooch Scholarship) and in Mumbai (World Cricket Academy).”

Essex leave on Saturday for a 10-day trip to the Middle East as they build up for the 2007 county season.

You can follow their fortunes via the Essex CCC website at www.essexcricket.org.uk

Essex squad for pre-season trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Ronnie Irani (Captain)

Varun Chopra

Alastair Cook

Andy Flower

Grant Flower

James Foster

James Middlebrook

Graham Napier

Tony Palladino

Mark Pettini

Tim Phillips

Darren Thomas

Alex Tudor

Mervyn Westfield

Tom Westley