Essex will have a new face in their 12-man squad when they make the trip to meet Derbyshire for the Specsavers County Championship Division Two match starting at The 3aaa County Ground on Saturday.
Will Rhodes has joined the county on-loan from Yorkshire. The all-rounder, who bats left-handed and who is a right-arm medium-fast bowler, captained the England Under-19 team in the ICC 2014 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Now 21 years-old, he has made 15 first-class appearances for the White Rose County, most recently in their match with Middlesex at Scarborough at the start of July.
Essex Head coach Chris Silverwood is delighted to add Rhodes to his squad.
“He is only young but he has already shown himself to be a fine all-rounder,” he said. “I worked with him a little bit when I was briefly involved with the England Under 19’s and he’s a really exciting talent. I’m sure that he’s going to prove a very useful addition to our squad in the next few weeks.
“Our bowling attack has been affected by injures and tiredness in the past few weeks so it will be good to have Will to give us a fresh pair of legs.
“We start the match on Saturday at the top of the table but with the narrowest of advantages although Kent, who are in second, have played one more match than ourselves. But there are a number of sides in the pack close behind and so the game with Derbyshire is the first of a number of must-win matches for us.
“We battled hard and showed a lot of character in our previous match when we got the draw with Sussex at Colchester and we’ll need those qualities throughout the remainder of the season.
“We are now getting to the business end of the season and the race for promotion is really hotting up now. But at the moment we are in pole position and we are desperately keen to ensure we stay there.”
A number of first team regulars have been ruled out of the trip to Derby. Jesse Ryder, Dan Lawrence and Matt Quinn are all sidelined through injury whilst David Masters is rested ahead of Wednesday’s Royal London Cup match with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
With bowlers unavailable, it could pave the way for Paul Walter to make his first-class debut. The 22 year-old left-arm paceman who only signed his first professional contract in June this year, has so far made 7 T20 Cup appearances but is now in contention for his first taste of County Championship action.
Ryan ten Doeschate (27) captain
James Foster (7) wicket-keeper
Will Rhodes (-)
Graham Napier (17)
Jaik Mickleburgh (32)
Jamie Porter (44)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Kishen Velani (8)
Tom Westley (21)
Tom Moore (33)
Nick Browne (10)
Paul Walter (22)
Derbyshire squad: Billy Godleman, Ben Slater, Chesney Hughes, Charlie Macdonell, Wayne Madsen, Neil Broom, Alex Hughes, Alex Mellor, Tom Milnes, Greg Cork, Matt Critchley, Callum Parkinson, Tony Palladino.