Match Preview: Essex v Lancashire


Weather permitting, Essex will have some competitive action ahead, starting this week when they meet Lancashire at The Cloudfm County Ground in a couple of two-day friendly matches as part of the pre-season preparations.

The first of those games starts on Tuesday followed by a second clash beginning on Thursday. After the weekend, Kent will be the visitors to Chelmsford in the final friendly. In accordance with Government COVID-19 guidelines, spectators will not be permitted to attend these matches.

Head Coach Anthony McGrath stressed the importance of the work out for his squad over the upcoming week, as they prepare for the start of the County Championship season which begins on Thursday 8 April against Worcestershire.

McGrath said: “They’ve been working hard in the indoor school and outside in the nets but now we have the opportunity to compliment all that effort with some competitive cricket in the middle.

“With six days of cricket, it will be a great opportunity for all of our squad to get some meaningful preparation in ahead of the season.

WATCH: McGrath Discusses 2021 Pre-Season

“Most sides, ourselves included, are normally on foreign soil at this stage of their pre-season preparations when we would normally have four or five friendly matches. But because of circumstances, it’s not been the case this year so we just want to make the best of what we can.

“I’m sure we can gain a huge amount of benefit from these matches and we are just keeping our fingers crossed that the weather holds good.

“We have been able to practise outside for a while recently and all credit to the ground staff who have done a tremendous job in getting the ground ready for our practise and these matches.

“I’m sure that Lancashire, over the four days and then Kent next week will provide us with some good challenges which is what we want at this stage.”

The format for all three matches is based on both teams batting for a day each although should the weather intervene, adjustments will be made, with McGrath adding: “Really, it’s all about practise opportunities rather than the outcome of the game, and the opportunity to replicate what we have done in the nets and turn that into performances in the middle.”

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