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Cricket: Essex ready to take on MCC

PUBLISHED: 14:30 27 March 2018

Essex players huddle before play in their warm-up match in Barbados (pic Essex CC)

Essex players huddle before play in their warm-up match in Barbados (pic Essex CC)

Archant

Wanstead youngster Feroze Khushi could make his first-class debut for Essex as they take on the MCC at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The squad have spent the past week training and playing two warm-up fixtures in the build up for this showcase curtain raiser to the new campaign.

And Khushi is in line to play, although Varun Chopra, Jack Plom, Sam Cook and Paul Walter all miss out due to minor injuries.

Anthony McGrath is looking forward to his first competitive match as head coach and said: “The lads have been working hard for a number of months now, and especially for the past week in Barbados. This trip has been a great opportunity to get the group together on a daily basis and prepare for this match and the upcoming season on and off the field.

“This game is going to be a tough four days as John Stephenson has assembled a talented group of players, but I will be looking for the boys to hit the ground running and impress myself and the other coaching team.

“There is an opportunity for some of the lads to stake a real claim for a spot against Yorkshire in a few weeks time. Unfortunately, Varun [Chopra] wil miss this match after tweaking his quad during training so it leaves a position alongside Nick Browne in the batting.

McGrath added: “Both Feroze and Jack have been excellent during their time on the tour and they are certainly two talented lads that will be pushing to become important players for the club in the years to come. It has been a great experience for them to join up with the first team set-up and they have been able to learn alot from the vast experience we have in the squad.”

Notable absentees from the touring party are Simon Harmer, Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara, due to their commitments overseas, but Jamie Porter is available for selection after the conclusion of the North/South series on Friday.

Essex squad to face MCC: Ryan ten Doeschate (27); Aaron Beard (14); Nick Browne (10); Matt Coles (1); Matt Dixon (30); James Foster (7); Feroze Khushi (23); Dan Lawrence (28); Aron Nijjar (24); Jamie Porter (44); Callum Taylor (67); Tom Westley (21); Adam Wheater (31); Ashar Zaidi (99).

MCC: Daniel Bell-Drummond (captain, Kent), Brett D’Oliveira (Worcestershire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Sam Northeast (Kent), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Delray Rawlins (Sussex), John Simpson (Middlesex), Dom Bess (Somerset), Matthew Fisher (Yorkshire), Liam Norwell (Gloucestershire), Fidel Edwards (Hampshire).

Play is scheduled to start at 2.30pm on each of the four days and the match is a day/night fixture, played with a pink ball under regular first-class rules and conditions.

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