Essex v Worcestershire
LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloudfm County Ground
Thursday 08 – Sunday 11 April
Essex begin their defence of the County Championship tomorrow, with Worcestershire visiting The Cloudfm County Ground for the first competitive red-ball match of the year.
Head Coach Anthony McGrath is looking forward to a summer-long season of cricket, saying: “Understandably, we were only able to have a short season last time around, but we’ve now got four trophies to play for.”
Essex start with nine County Championship matches before the Vitality Blast takes over.
“It gives players a lot more continuity and I think it will allow players to get in a good rhythm.
“As far as individuals and the team are concerned, one thing you’re looking for is for the batsman just to get a few more runs than perhaps they did last year. That will always help improve the team because we know the bowling takes care of itself, our bowlers are always capable of getting 20 wickets.
“Everyone is raring to go for the long season ahead starting on Thursday.”
Essex have named a 14-man squad for the opening match of the season.
Aaron Beard is an early injury casualty and is side-lined with a groin strain sustained in pre-season during the friendly with Kent last week.
The other absentee is Australian Peter Siddle whose arrival has been delayed by COVID-19 protocols.
Worcestershire bolstered their squad during the winter with the signing of Gareth Roderick. The 29-year-old featured in 84 first-class matches for Gloucestershire, scoring 4,732 runs at an average of 35.25 and recording 259 dismissals behind the stumps.
One to Watch:
Jake Libby – Only Alastair Cook scored more runs than Jake Libby in the Bob Willis Trophy last term with the Essex opener finishing with 563 runs to his name. Now 27 years old, the former Nottinghamshire batsman piled on the runs for his new County last year, amassing 498 in 5 matches, 65 fewer than Cook.
The two counties have faced each other on 150 occasions in the County Championship with Essex claiming 48 wins and Worcestershire 34, whilst 68 games have been drawn.
Alastair Cook requires 76 runs to reach 9,000 first-class runs for Essex.
Tom Westley requires 89 runs to reach 9,000 first-class runs for Essex.
Dan Lawrence requires 289 runs to reach 4,000 first-class runs for Essex.
Adam Wheater requires 194 runs to reach 3,000 first-class runs for Essex.
Jamie Porter requires 13 more wickets to record 350 first-class wickets for Essex.
Sam Cook requires 5 more wickets to record 100 first-class wickets for Essex.
How To Watch:
Our Live Stream service will be available across all four days of this game from 11am, which also includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the day. Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.