Essex welcome Glamorgan, wanting six points for promotion

PUBLISHED: 17:42 11 September 2016

Essex players celebrate a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex players celebrate a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Chopra and Wheater included in squad after securing returns to county

Essex welcome Glamorgan to the County Ground on Monday for the penultimate match of the Specsavers County Championship season, needing just six points to clinch promotion to Division One for the first time since 2010.

Kent’s defeat against Northamptonshire last week has given Ryan ten Doeschate’s men a chance to secure the Division Two title and the sole promotion spot available this season on home turf, before their clash at Canterbury.

And Essex have named new faces Varun Chopra and Adam Wheater in a 14-man squad for the match.

Chopra left the county after the 2009 campaign to join Warwickshire, but has now has signed a three-year deal to return to Essex from next season.

The Midlands county have allowed the 29-year-old batsman to join the club early for the remainding fixtures and he is set to take his place at the top of the order in place of the unavailable Alastair Cook.

Wicket-keeper batsman Wheater, 26, left Essex to join Hampshire in 2013, but has also returned to his former county in time for the promotion run-in having completed a two-year deal until the end of the 2018 season.

Wheater has proved a prolific performer with the bat for Hampshire this year scoring 802 Championship runs at an average of 47.18 and Essex head coach Chris Silverwood is delighted to bring both players back to the club where they spent their formative years.

He said: “It’s great to have players of their calibre back with us. They are talented players who will boost our squad and want to help play their part in bringing Division One cricket to Essex in 2017.

“If we get six points from these last two games then we are guaranteed promotion, but we are just concentrating on winning the next game and making sure our preparation is spot-on.

“We just need to concentrate on doing the job, getting the six points and then nobody can catch us, and we are home and dry.

“Because of the way we’ve played our cricket this year, we find ourselves with this excellent chance of winning the single promotion place that’s available this time around. However, until we have clinched it, we still have a job to do. Once we’ve done it, I’ll be really happy.

“Not only have we been successful this year, but we’ve played some really entertaining cricket, which I’m sure our members and supporters have thoroughly enjoyed. These are exciting times for Essex and the prospects for the future are bright and very encouraging.”

Speaking of his return to Essex, Wheater added: “It’s great to be back at Essex, where I started my career. I’d like to thank Hampshire for their understanding of moving to Essex and wish them every success in the future.”

Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate; James Foster; Aaron Beard; Ravi Bopara; Nick Browne; Varun Chopra; Dan Lawrence; David Masters; Graham Napier; Jamie Porter; Will Rhodes; Paul Walter; Tom Westley; Adam Wheater.

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