Tuesday 6 May 2008 

Nel And Wright Return For Essex Clash With Middlesex

Essex have named a 12-man squad for their LV County Championship match against Middlesex at The Ford County Ground, starting on Wednesday (May 7).

Fast bowlers Andre Nel and Chris Wright (preparing to face his old County) are restored to the side after being rested for the Tourist Match against New Zealand.

Meanwhile, David Masters is unable to return due to an illness in his family.

Ravinder Bopara, who is away with the England Lions for their match against New Zealand, which starts at the Rose Bowl on Thursday, is replaced by Varun Chopra.

Alastair Cook makes his last Championship appearance for Essex before joining up with England for Test duty in their series with New Zealand.

Tim Phillips is unavailable after knee surgery while Graham Napier begins his comeback after a knee injury in the 2nd XI at Garon Park this week.

Looking ahead to the game, Essex First-Team Coach Paul Grayson told the Essex CCC website (www.essexcricket.org.uk):

“The lads were disappointed to lose the Tourist Match on Monday – which was a pleasing reaction considering there were no points riding on it.

“Our bowlers who came in for the game acquitted themselves well and we believed we could chase the runs down on the final day. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any partnerships going and none of the batsmen kicked on for a substantial score. There were two turning points in the game – when New Zealand added 59 for the last wicket in their first innings and we went from 154-3 to 169-7 in our first innings – and these are the critical moments we need to seize now we return to Championship cricket.

“Our confidence remains high and we are playing well. Middlesex have made a steady start themselves but if we keep playing cricket the way we want to we hope we will prove the best side over the next four days.”

Essex: Alastair Cook, Jason Gallian, Varun Chopra, Tom Westley, Mark Pettini, Ryan ten Doeschate, James Foster, James Middlebrook, Chris Wright, Tony Palladino, Andre Nel, Alex Tudor

© Essex CCC