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County Championship preview – Essex

Essex County Cricket membership have named a robust 13-man squad as they put together for his or her County Championship opener at Headingley.

Essex’s new head coach, Anthony McGrath, begins his reign, and Essex’s title defence, with a visit to the County with which he was as soon as synonymous, Yorksire

Essex had been labelled as robust favourites to be relegated instantly following their promotion to the top-flight of County cricket, however they despatched shockwaves throughout the nationwide recreation by charging to a primary title in 25 years – remaining unbeaten the complete time in red-ball cricket in 2017.

And Essex will likely be hoping that the winter addition of Australian quick bowler Peter Siddle will enhance their possibilities of retaining the title.

Although the main focus will extra possible be on Essex’s new head coach, Anthony McGrath, as the previous Yorkshire batsman will open his new tenure on the helm of Essex with a nostalgic return to his earlier employers.

Speaking about his return to Headingley, McGrath admitted to the membership web site that he will likely be totally targeted upon the cricket. “No there received’t be something however cricket, cricket is my career and my job.

“I’m in my third yr now with Essex and really feel an Essex boy. I’ve actually loved my time since I moved down right here.

“Yes I see old friends when I go back up there and my family will all be there, they live up there and so from that point of view, it’s great to catch up with people. But in terms of the game, it’s business as usual.”

Essex make the lengthy journey to Headingley with a superb document towards Yorkshire as Mohammad Amir grabbed ultimate figures of 10 for 72 at Scarborough in August, whereas the return fixture in Chelmsford noticed Essex end as victors by 376 runs inside three days play – with the County Champions being offered with their trophy on the shut of play.

Assisted for the primary time by new assistant head coach, Dimitri Mascarenhas, McGrath admitted that having the label of being County Champions will make little distinction as Essex purpose to start their season in the absolute best style.

“Being defending Champions comes with its own pressure because people now expect of us, but within our own dressing room, nothing has changed. It’s business as usual,” he stated.

“We beat Yorkhsire twice last year and we’ll be looking to do the same this year. We want to start well, we know this game will be tough because Yorkshire are very good at Headingley. They’ve had a great record in recent years in four-day cricket so we are certainly not under-estimating how tough the game will be.”

Having handed a health take a look at, Sam Cook will likely be hoping to proceed his type from final season. The 20-year-old seam bowler, who’s learning History and International Relations at Loughborough University, broke into the First XI within the ultimate month of the triumphant marketing campaign, taking 18 wickets in his 4 characteristic matches. Varun Chopra additionally handed the health take a look at to make sure he was a part of the travelling squad.

Full squad: Ryan ten Doeschate ©, James Foster (WK), Ravi Bopara, Nick Browne, Varun Chopra, Sam Cook, Simon Harmer, Dan Lawrence, Jamie Porter, Peter Siddle, Paul Walter, Tom Westley, Adam Wheater.

By Matt Lee

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