Essex Ability XI ready to take on Middlesex


Essex Ability get down to business this weekend, opening their D40 Pursuit campaign with a game against old adversaries Middlesex at Greenford.

It has been a busy winter for the players, preparing ahead of a season full of promise. Head Coach Patrick Ward spoke about the commitment and effort the respective Ability squads have put in during the close season.

“The guys have worked really hard this winter”, he explained.

“It’s nice because it is probably three years since we had a full winter of training, obviously because of COVID restrictions and the limitations this brought.

It seems as if we have been training for a long time. We started back in December. The effort that the guys have put in has been amazing.

“We started with some fitness work, whilst also working on fielding and specific sessions around bowling, batting and game-based scenarios. We finished up with two lengthy sessions around toning our game-play and getting everyone fresh for the first game this coming weekend.”

It has been easy to identify the enthusiasm running through the group, “The energy after last Sunday’s training was amazing.”

“Everyone was buzzing when they came out and this has been down to the effort they have all put in, which has been helped by a few new faces as well. This has meant we’ve had really good numbers in the group and strong sessions have come as a result.

“But also because we have had a couple of years of interrupted preparations due to the restrictions when we were training over the past few years.

“Everyone has been able to go through 12-13 sessions since we started back. We planned it and progressed them knowing it would lead up to this point where the players should be at the level we wanted coming to this week. It’s fantastic to see that they’ve reached this level and are flying.”

Matches between Essex and Middlesex are always eagerly anticipated encounters and Sunday’s clash at the William Perkins School will be no different. “Hopefully, the weather picks up from last week. Cricket in April is always a bit iffy and you never quite know what you are going to get.”

“It is a good pitch at Middlesex and well looked after so hopefully it will drain efficiently and we can get off to a positive start.

Essex Ability Squad: Matthew Hazell, Benny Fryett, Martyn Doe, Jack Flowers, James Cole, Billy Gibbons, Matt Thomas, Alfie Jeeves, Jack Gair, Laila Robinson, Lee Wheeler, Joe Moss.