May 23 2013 Latest news:
James Long, London24’s Essex bloger
Monday, May 21, 2012
It’s been an odd season results-wise for Essex so far this campaign.
Essex are unbeaten in the County Championship (rained off draws count!) and, after last weekend’s 28-run loss to Lancashire, have lost all of their CB40 games.
Isn’t Essex normally the other way round? Essex is the team that struggle in County Championship, either playing brilliantly or woefully, and always do really well in the CB40 tournament?
Still early days though, especially with the T20 competition yet to start and Essex are known for doing fairly well in that…we claim.
This does lead to another vein of thought; considering how we say, “we’re known for being this and that” in certain tournaments, where does Essex’s status rank compared to other counties?
Teams like Surrey, Warwickshire and Yorkshire will probably claim they are the “biggest” counties, but Essex has got to be up there too.
Looking at the currently England squad, Nottinghamshire have got several big players being represented, Swanny and Broad being two, but Essex are well represented too.
Arguably, England’s best batsmen and, without any major injuries, a contender to become one of England’s all-time leading run scorer is Alastair Cook.
Cookie has spent his entire first-class career with Essex and seemingly seems committed for the foreseeable future. Also, England’s batting coach Graham Gooch and heroic team director Andy Flower were both BIG Essex players.
Essex do deserve to up there with when people are talking about the “biggest” counties.
Chelmsford isn’t the biggest ground in the world, but on a T20 evening the Eagle’s fans are the loudest and most buoyant around, leading to the ground’s nickname “Fortress Chelmsford”.
Graham Napier is one of the most exciting batsmen when he gets going, his 130-ball 196 in the County Championship and his T20 152* off 58 balls where all scored whilst proudly wearing an Essex shirt.
Essex are one of the biggest county teams in the country, perhaps they’ve earn this by being one of the few teams who fans would happily let all the other teams know this!
With the weather finally looking like it might be clearing up in the long haul, expect many more record-breaking and amazing scenes at “Fortress Chelmsford” this season…nope, not bias at all!