Essex call for Cook

PUBLISHED: 08:12 04 April 2016 | UPDATED: 08:12 04 April 2016

Alastair Cook in batting action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Alastair Cook in batting action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

County side to take on Middlesex

England Test captain Alastair Cook comes into the Essex side for their two-day friendly with Middlesex, which starts at Chelmsford today (Monday).

Cook replaces Jaik Mickleburgh, who hit two centuries in the record 523-run win over Cambridge University at Fenner’s, and is joined in the 13-man squad by Aaron Beard and Ashar Zaidi.

Head coach Chris Silverwood said: “It’s unfortunate for Jaik who batted superbly, scoring hundreds in each innings against Cambridge, but I’ve spoken to him and explained the situation which he accepts.

“The team turned in a very good performance over the three days and went about their work in a very professional way. There were so many plus points to take from the game, the batting of Jaik, Nick Browne and Tom Westley in particular, whilst it was good to see our all bowlers doing well.

“Graham Napier bowled superbly in their first innings with five wickets. It was also good to see Matt Dixon end up with five wickets in the match after taking three in their second innings, and that will give him a lot of confidence.

“So overall, it was a job well done and a very worthwhile exercise. All our players got some good time in the middle and that’s what we wanted at this stage in the build-up to the first Specsavers County Championship match in a week’s time.”

South Woodford’s Nick Browne, who his a century in the second innings against Cambridge, retains his place in the squad alongside Ravi Bopara, with former Trinity High School pupul Dan Lawrence and Oaks Park old boy Jamie Porter also included.

Wicketkeeper Matt Cross is on standby to deputise for James Foster, as he did against Cambridge.

Play for both days of this match is scheduled to begin at 11am with gates open from 10am. Entry to match is free for all spectators.

Essex and Middlesex are also due to compete in a Twenty20 match on Wednesday.

Squad: Ryan ten Doeschate, James Foster, Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara, Dan Lawrence, Graham Napier, Matt Dixon, Jamie Porter, Callum Taylor, Ashar Zaidi, Aaron Beard, Matt Cross.

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