Match Preview: Essex v Kent


Essex v Kent

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
Thursday 07 – Sunday 10 April
11am start
10am gates


After a pre-season that included 40* heat, snow and everything in between; the eve of the First-Class season opener has arrived.

Tomorrow’s game against local rivals Kent, which gets underway at 11am, sees Essex back in Division One, a league they’ve dominated in recent years. The 2022 LV= Insurance County Championship also signals the return of the two-division First-Class structure last used in 2019.

Alongside Essex and Kent in Divison One are last year’s Champions Warwickshire and runners-up Lancashire. Joining them are the pair of teams from the South West, Somerset and Gloucestershire as well as Surrey, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire.

The team will be looking to continue their strong form from the end of last season when they beat Northamptonshire in record time to claim the Division Two title.


Essex are well-placed after a shrewd off-season of recruitment. The Club added three high-profile names to their squad with Overseas seamer Mark Steketee joining leg-spinning allrounder Matt Critchley and wicket-keeper batter Adam Rossington.

Jamie Porter has recovered from a niggle he sustained during pre-season and after a successful run-out against Middlesex at Merchant Taylors’ School is available for selection.

The squad also received a boost earlier this week with the return of Dan Lawrence from England’s tour of the West Indies, where he furthered his reputation as one of the country’s leading young batters.

Simon Harmer, however, will miss the opening two games of the season while he is with the South Africa test team.

Essex v Kent Squad

View from the squad:

Our Opposition:

Kent finished last season at the top of Division Three, winning all four games in the Division after going winless in their 10 Group 3 fixtures.

45-year-old Darren Stevens is included in the Kent squad and will play in his 26th season of First-Class cricket. He is joined by Kent’s Overseas recruit Jackson Bird and new signing Ben Compton.

Kent will be without England opener Zac Crawley and Vice-Captain Jack Leaning. Crawley sits out after a discussion with team management, whilst Leaning hasn’t yet fully recovered from injury but will travel with the rest of the squad. Sam Billings is also unavailable whilst he plays in the IPL.

Two ex-Essex players will be present at The Cloud County Ground as Matt Quinn makes the Kent squad and Tendo makes an early return to the ground where he retired just a matter of months ago. Over the winter he signed with Kent as their First XI Batting Coach.

Kent Squad: Ollie Robinson (Captain & Wicket Keeper), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Jackson Bird, Ben Compton, Jordan Cox, Joe Denly, Nathan Gilchrist, Matt Milnes, Tawanda Muyeye, Hamidullah Qadri, Matt Quinn, Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart.

Last time out:

The last time two team’s faced in red-ball cricket was in August 2020 in the Bob Willis Trophy. Viewers were treated to a classic as Essex snuck home to win by two wickets.

After conceding a first-innings deficit of 89, Essex bundled Kent out for 112 in the second innings with Harmer taking 4 wickets. Essex chased the 201 runs needed to win for the loss of 8 wickets, Alastair Cook hitting 65 and Adam Wheater and Sam Cook seeing the team home with a ninth-wicket partnership of 31.

How To Watch:

Our Live Stream service will be available across all four days of this game from 10:30am, which also includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the day.

The broadcast can be accessed via the Essex Cricket TV YouTube channel or Essex Cricket Matchzone here.