MCC v Essex | Match Preview



The stage is set for the opening First Class match of the 2018 season, which will see Essex take on the MCC at the Kensington Oval, Barbados in the Champion County match.

The squad have spent the week training and playing two warm-up fixtures in the build up for this showcase curtain raiser to the new campaign.

Anthony McGrath is looking forward to his first competitive match as Head Coach and said: “The lads have been working hard for a number of months now, and especially for the past week in Barbados. This trip has been a great opportunity to get the group together on a daily basis and prepare for this match and the upcoming season on and off the field.

“This game is going to be a tough four days as John Stephenson has assembled a talented group of players, but I will be looking for the boys to hit the ground running and impress myself and the other coaching team.

“There is an opportunity for some of the lads to stake a real claim for a spot against Yorkshire in a few weeks time. Unfortunately, Varun [Chopra] wil miss this match after tweaking his quad during training so it leaves a position alongside Nick Browne in the batting.”

Feroze Khushi could make his first-class debut after featuring in both warm-up games, but Jack Plom is unavailable after he sustained a minor ankle injury during net practice. Sam Cook and Paul Walter also miss out due to slight injuries which are not being risked for this fixture.

McGrath added: “Both Feroze and Jack have been excellent during their time on the tour and they are certainly two talented lads that will be pushing to become important players for the Club in the years to come. It has been a great experience for them to join up with the First Team setup and they have been able to learn alot from the vast expereience we have in the squad.”

Notable absentees from the touring party are Simon Harmer, Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara, due to their commitments overseas, but Jamie Porter is available for selection after the conclusion of the North/South series on Friday.

Essex squad to face MCC:

Ryan ten Doeschate (27) (Captain)
Aaron Beard (14)
Nick Browne (10)
Matt Coles (1)
Matt Dixon (30)
James Foster (7) (WK)
Feroze Khushi (23)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Aron Nijjar (24)
Jamie Porter (44)
Callum Taylor (67)
Tom Westley (21)
Adam Wheater (31) (WK)
Ashar Zaidi (99)

MCC Squad: Daniel Bell-Drummond (C)(Kent), Brett D’Oliveira (Worcestershire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Sam Northeast (Kent), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Delray Rawlins (Sussex), John Simpson (WK) (Middlesex), Dom Bess (Somerset), Matthew Fisher (Yorkshire), Richard Gleeson (Northamptonshire), Fidel Edwards (Hampshire).

Play is scheduled to take place at 2:30pm (7:30pm BST) on each of the four days. This match is a Day/Night fixture, played with a pink ball under regular First Class rules and conditions. Coverage of the match will be available on the Club’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts as well as a match report and reaction on https://