After washout at Yorkshire, Essex ready to get County Championship Division One campaign properly started
PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 April 2018
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Jamie Porter has had a tough winter, but will hope to show it was a blessing in disguise with a good showing against Lancashire this week
Essex returned from Yorkshire with five points to their name after a frustrating four days at Headingley, but the washout will have only increased the motivation of Jamie Porter ahead of this week’s match.
Lancashire visit the County Championship Division One champions tomorrow (Friday) and Anthony McGrath’s team will hope to finally play some cricket this week.
All four days at Headingley were abandoned with the first due to rain, but the second, third and fourth days weren’t able to go ahead because the pitch was deemed unplayable.
It meant Porter and Co had to kick their heels, but they will be determined to make up for lost time tomorrow at their County Ground home.
Last season’s leading wicket-taker has endured a frustrating winter with a stress fracture in his back preventing him from pushing for an England call-up.
Porter is hopeful it will prove to be a positive in the long-run and will aim to take the first of many scalps this week when Essex host Lancashire.
He said: “The winter was very frustrating. I had worked hard to get myself a Lions call-up and I was hoping to be there or there abouts for an Ashes call-up and then all that got taken away.
“But it has motivated me to get myself fit and it gave me a chance to improve on my game, the three months I had out, so hopefully it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.”
Fellow seamer Paul Walter was included in the 13-man squad for the trip to Yorkshire and will hope to feature in the starting XI tomorrow.
The youngster, who has played club cricket for Hornchurch and Billericay in recent seasons, is confident the champions will cope with any extra pressure on them this year.
After seeing Chris Silverwood depart last winter, Essex have a different head coach in the shape of McGrath, but he has been at the club for two years.
Dimi Mascarenhas is a new voice in the changing room though, and Walter thinks his arrival, plus the addition of others, may help.
He added: “I don’t think anyone is feeling the pressure, everything is fresh again and ‘Mags’ has taken over.
“We have a couple of new faces, so it feels lively and there is a good atmosphere at the club and I think everyone is looking forward to showing it wasn’t a fluke and getting out there and doing it all again.”