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Yorkshire v Essex: Champions still waiting to start defence

PUBLISHED: 18:30 14 April 2018

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath signs an autograph for a fan after play is abandoned for a second day at Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath signs an autograph for a fan after play is abandoned for a second day at Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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County champions Essex and Yorkshire were subjected to more frustration as day two of their Specsavers County Championship match was abandoned without a ball bowled.

Umpire Richard Illingworth checks the state of the outfield at Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) Umpire Richard Illingworth checks the state of the outfield at Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The Emerald Headingley outfield down at the Rugby end of the ground was a particular problem area, with a significant amount of standing water remaining following recent wet weather.

There was no rain today, however, with the sun even out when umpires Ian Gould and Richard Illingworth made their final decision.

Essex coach Anthony McGrath said: “I’m fully behind what the umpires have got to say. I’m just bitterly disappointed that, given we’ve got a sunny day, we’re not playing cricket.

“I believe these are the only two days without rain they’ve had in the last four weeks. You can understand that, and it’s been the same countrywide.

A general view of the pitch at Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) A general view of the pitch at Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

“It’s a shame because the crowd’s building nicely ready for some cricket. We’ll come back in the morning and see what happens.

“They can’t get the water hog on there because it would keep bringing the water up, and they don’t think it will dry in time for the rest of the day.

“If the bowlers run up on it and the fielders stand in it, it will make it much worse and be a bit of a quagmire.

“It’s just really frustrating, but the umpires have got to do what’s right for the ground and both teams.

“We could wait here for another four hours, keep everyone here and we’d still not be guaranteed to play. It’s one of those unfortunate periods of weather we’ve been in.”

When play does get underway, Yorkshire seamer Josh Shaw will take advantage of the county’s injury and unavailability crisis to make only his third Championship appearance for them.

He said: “It’s very frustrating, but we’ve kind of expected it with the weather over the last few weeks.

“We had the Leeds/Bradford game rained off, then Leicester turned into 50 or 60 overs having been arranged as two days. But that’s cricket. You can’t do anything about it. Fingers crossed, we get on soon enough.

“When we do get on, it should be quite nice bowling conditions!

“It could be just a bonus points thing and trying to get as many as we can.

“It’s alright bowling indoors, but only for a certain amount of time. We went to Potchefstroom on pre-season and went from indoors straight to out.

“After that, I was like ‘I’m ready to get outdoors back home now’. Since then, we’ve only been outside three or four times bowling off a full run-up. It’s been quite difficult.”

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