Match Preview: Essex v Warwickshire


Two high-fliers meet as the LV= Insurance County Championship ticks past its halfway point, with Essex, fourth in Division One, welcoming second-placed Warwickshire to Chelmsford from Sunday.

Essex comfortably dispatched Somerset by 196 runs in their last red-ball outing two weeks ago, as Alastair Cook and Matt Critchley hit centuries before Simon Harmer picked up eight wickets in the match.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire were held to a high-scoring draw against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, as despite the Bears piling up 571-9 declared, they were denied by the hosts’ rearguard action in a second-innings total of 464-6.

Though Essex have played a game more, there are just nine points separating the two sides in the top half of the Division One table, and any victory for Anthony McGrath’s men will take them above the Edgbaston outfit.

This round of matches will be the first used for trials of the Kookaburra ball, which will also be used for Essex’s four-day game against Lancashire in Blackpool next month.


Essex have named a 13-player squad for this fixture with red-ball regulars Alastair Cook, Jamie Porter, Nick Browne and overseas bowler Doug Bracewell all returning to the fold.

Will Buttleman has been named in the matchday squad, with Adam Rossington still recovering from a finger injury.

ess v war squad

The View from the Dressing Room: Anthony McGrath

Ahead of the match, Head Coach Anthony McGrath spoke about the upcoming switch back to the longer format. He also spoke about the way the trial of the Kookaburra ball might effect proceedings.

Division One Standings:


The Opposition:

After avoiding the drop to Division Two with the final ball of last season, Warwickshire have had a far stronger first half of this year’s campaign. They currently sit on 91 points, second only to leaders Surrey, having won three and lost just one of their six matches so far.

The Bears went on something of a big-name signing spree in the winter, recruiting not just England’s Moeen Ali, but also flourishing all-rounder Ed Barnard and evergreen seamer Chris Rushworth. Pakistani quick Hasan Ali was also signed as their overseas player, with the aim of filling the gap left by Olly Stone’s move to Nottinghamshire.

Moeen moved to Edgbaston on a white ball deal, but the other three have hit the ground running in the County Championship so far. Rushworth and Ali are Warwickshire’s top two Championship wicket-takers this season, with 35 and 22 scalps, respectively, while Barnard’s 273 runs puts him fourth in the club’s run-scoring charts.

The test will be a stern one for Essex, with only table-toppers Surrey, unbeaten themselves, having been able to win against Warwickshire so far this season. However, the hosts are also yet to be defeated at Chelmsford this season, setting up a mouth-watering clash.


Last Time We Met:

Essex will be looking for revenge against Warwickshire from Sunday, as it was the Bears who handed out their only defeat to date in this season’s Championship. That clash took place at Edgbaston six weeks ago, with the hosts on that occasion winning by four wickets despite a battling second-innings fifty from Simon Harmer.

Honours were even the last time the two sides met at Chelmsford, which was all the way back in May 2021. Rain and bad light combined to turn the game into a heavily truncated affair, though there was time for two members of the Essex attack to record personal milestones.

Sam Cook’s dismissal of Olly Stone, caught by Simon Harmer at second slip, was his 100th in the County Championship. Meanwhile, in the same innings, Peter Siddle picked up figures of 6/38, which remains his best bowling return in the competition.

Essex’s last first-class win over Warwickshire came by 187 runs in the sides’ 2019 meeting at Chelmsford, where Alastair Cook made 84 and 83, alongside Dan Lawrence hitting 61 and 74 in the first and second innings, respectively.

After Essex had established a first-innings lead of 84, Warwickshire were set an ambitious 401 to win, and the hosts went on to dismiss the Bears for 213 and earn another victory on their way to being crowned county champions as Harmer took 6/75.

How To Watch:

If you’re unable to attend, the game will be streamed live from Chelmsford and available to watch via the Essex Cricket Matchzone or on the Essex Cricket TV YouTube channel.

Miss the action? Highlights will be available after each day’s play via the Club website and social media channels.


The bright sunshine and high temperatures of the past week are set to continue into Sunday, while conditions are also set fair for beyond the weekend, giving hope of four full days of action.

Tickets are available from £14 if bought online in advance of the game, or £17 on the gate, while under-25s can gain entry for £11 at any time. Under-18s tickets are priced at £5.