Match Preview: Cambridge MCCU v Essex


The first-class season gets underway when the team make the short trip to Fenner’s to engage the students of Cambridge MCCU in a three-day friendly, starting on Tuesday.
The Essex squad has recently returned from a pre-season tour to Abu Dhabi where they were able to enjoy some warm weather training as they prepare for the third season since returning to the top-flight of the Specsavers County Championship.
Head Coach Anthony McGrath was delighted with the time spent abroad acknowledging that all the members of the squad benefitted. “The idea of the tour was to get everyone ready for the long and gruelling season ahead and we got some really great work done over there,” he said.
“I was really happy with the work that the lads got in, not only in games but in practice. I have to say the facilities were really superb and so I’m happy with all our preparations. 
“Everyone is raring to go, we’ve got a strong squad and there is some really good competition for places.
“We’ve got the game with Cambridge MCCU which will offer us more match time ahead of the first Championship game of the season with Hampshire next week. The guys who are in the squad get the chance to put their name forward for the trip to the Ageas Bowl.
“Hopefully the weather will be kind to us at Fenner’s. It’s a ground we like going to and we often get some really good preparation there, so hopefully it will be a fruitful three days.
Tomorrow’s match will also offer newly appointed Assistant Coach and Bowling Coach, Andre Nel further opportunity to become acquainted with the players after joining up with the squad in the UAE.
Essex will select from a squad of 13 players but are without Sam Cook, Dan Lawrence and Tom Westley who are in Dubai where they are playing for the MCC against Surrey in the customary MCC v Champion County curtain-raiser to the season.
Essex squad to face Cambridge MCCU:
27. Ryan ten Doeschate (C)
14. Aaron Beard
25. Ravi Bopara
10. Nick Browne
6. Varun Chopra
1. Matt Coles
26. Alastair Cook
11. Simon Harmer
24. Aron Nijjar
19. Michael Pepper (WK)
44. Jamie Porter
94. Matt Quinn
31. Adam Wheater (WK)

Play is scheduled to begin at the earlier time of 10:30am on each day with match information available – here.