Foster returns for Essex

ESSEX wicketkeeper James Foster returns to the side for their three-day friendly with Leeds/Bradford UCCE starting on Saturday at Chelmsford.

by MIKE SIMMONDS

ESSEX wicketkeeper James Foster returns to the side for their three-day friendly with Leeds/Bradford UCCE starting on Saturday at Chelmsford.

The gloveman has just returned from Abu Dhabi where he represented the MCC against county champions Durham, and joins a strong side including David Masters and Mark Pettini.

First team coach Paul Grayson is hoping his side use the match as the perfect workout ahead of their county opener with Hampshire on Friday.


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"We have to approach this game seriously because we haven't had too much outdoor practice in England because of the weather and being away in Barbados near to the start of the season," he said.

"We will take the match with Leeds/Bradford seriously and make sure that we are fully prepared for the start of the LV= County Championship when we play Hampshire next Friday".

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"It's vital for all our bowlers to get some overs in their legs because you can bowl as much as you like in the nets but there's nothing like playing and doing it for real out in the middle.

"That goes for our batsmen as well; time in the middle is priceless.

"We had some good practice in Barbados with some good surfaces to play on which was the reason for going there whereas if we had stayed at home, we would have been indoors.

"Now we are back it is important to be able to get out and work on our fitness and continue our outdoor work in conditions that we will be likely to face in the first few weeks of the season."

Entry is free on all the three days of the match with Leeds/Bradford UCCE.

Essex squad: Mark Pettini, John Maunders, Billy Godleman, Tom Westley, Matthew Walker, James Foster, Ryan ten Doeschate, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Chris Wright, Maurice Chambers, Jaik Mickleburgh, Tony Palladino.

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