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Essex v Yorkshire: Cook set for Chelmsford outing

PUBLISHED: 13:43 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 May 2018

Alastair Cook of Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Alastair Cook of Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

England opener Alastair Cook is set to make his first home appearance of the season as Essex meet Yorkshire in the Specsavers County Championship at The Cloudfm County Ground starting today (Friday, 11am).

Peter Siddle in bowling action for Essex against Hampshire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Peter Siddle in bowling action for Essex against Hampshire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Former England Test captain Cook is in a 13-man squad to face opponents able to include fellow England stars Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.

Cook scored 84 for Essex in the drawn match with Hampshire earlier this week and has been made available by the ECB to face Yorkshire and Worcestershire ahead of the Test series with Pakistan.

With four days of sunshine forecast, head coach Anthony McGrath said: “Let’s hope they are right, we could certainly do with some decent weather. We’ve had to sit around for quite a few days this season and that has prevented the players from getting any rhythm to their game.

“Alastair continued where he left off for us last year and looked as if he’d never been away. We love having him around and he’s a terrific presence on and off the field.”

The equivalent of more than two days were lost to rain and bad light at The Ageas Bowl although Essex did earn 10 points from the drawn game.

McGrath added: “The forecast was for a total washout for the final day but we got a full day in so it was good our bowlers and batsmen were able to spend time in the middle.

“But it was bitterly cold, some of our players wore beanie hats, Peter Siddle bowled in his, and I think ‘Cookie’ actually had seven layers on at one stage. Despite the weather, there were a good few positives to take from the game.

“Peter put in a brilliant effort with the ball, he passed the bat so many times, and Sam Cook benefitted from his first match of the season. He’s been unlucky with injuries pre-season and so it was good for him to shake off any rustiness.

“Alastair and Ravi Bopara played superbly and it was nice to see Ravi get a decent score (84 not out). He’s looked impressive pre-season but that innings against Hampshire was good for him and his confidence.

“Once again, James Foster made a valuable contribution, so overall, apart from the weather, I’m satisfied with the way things panned out.”

Essex squad: Ryan ten Doeschate, James Foster, Aaron Beard, Ravi Bopara, Nick Browne, Varun Chopra, Alastair Cook, Sam Cook, Simon Harmer, Dan Lawrence, Jamie Porter (44), Peter Siddle (64), Tom Westley (21).

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