The cricket season is here which means media days across the country, after a week of T shirt weather it was truly chilly for the Essex session. This is an opportunity to take photos of the Ability squad, the Women’s squad and of course the First Team squad.

With a chance to set eyes on new kits and clothing ranges as well as to see how the players interact with each other. The team spirit is plain to see, with a few nerves from the younger members of the squad, but it was mostly smiles and laughter all round in spite of the cold.

Most of those gathered from the press had their eyes on Sir Alastair Cook and as was the way when he was England captain he was the main focus for interviews once the photos were taken. He looked relaxed and happy to be ‘home’. Essex will have the benefit of his experience all summer, It was lovely to see Alastair with the Ability team, he’s a selfie focus for them too and he never lets them down.

And so to the squad – I didn’t take individual photos, other than to capture a few off guard, but the list is as per the team photo in the white, county cricket kit.

Back Row – Shane Snater, Sam Cook, Ben Allison, Paul Walter, Matt Quinn, Jack Plom, Feroze Khushi

Middle Row – Adam Wheater, Aron Nijjar, Simon Harmer, Matt Coles, Varun Chopra, Will Buttleman, Aaron Beard

Front Row – Jamie Porter, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate, Tom Westley, Alastair Cook, Nick Browne

My camera also seemed to be making a bee line for Alastair Cook 🙂

The Royal London One Day Cup kit was up next, the players didn’t look any warmer!

A Blast form the past for the T20 Blast kit with yellow being the main theme, it was plain by the seating plan that Essex have a new T20 captain for 2019, with Simon Harmer taking the hot seat.

In addition to the players at the County Ground Michael Pepper is recovering from an operation and the following players will be joining the squad

  • Rishi Patel
  • Peter Siddle – Overseas, CC & ODC
  • Adam Zampa – Overseas, T20 Blast
  • Cameron Delport – Kolpak, T20 Blast
  • Mohammad Amir – Overseas, T20 Blast

As I’m typing Essex are playing Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, my favourite player outside of Essex, Sam Northeast made 169 runs helping his side to 525 for 8 declared. Essex have been bowled out for 164 and are following on with a batsman short as Adam Wheater broke a finger early in the Hampshire innings. As the song goes – Things can only get better! The County Ground is looking better than I’ve seen it for years, roll on a home game! Looking forward to a great summer of cricket!

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