Search

Ravi Bopara: Essex relish being underdogs and it makes County Championship Division One title extra sweet

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 October 2017

Ravi Bopara of Essex kisses the County Championship trophy (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ravi Bopara of Essex kisses the County Championship trophy (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Hainault & Clayhall cricketer reflects on successful academy set-up at Chelmsford and his own highlight of the campaign

Ravi Bopara of Essex leaves the field having been dismissed for 192 against Warwickshire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) Ravi Bopara of Essex leaves the field having been dismissed for 192 against Warwickshire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

During an unbelievable 2017 season, Essex managed to beat Yorkshire comprehensively on two occasions, defeat rivals Middlesex with an innings to spare and thrash Surrey by eight wickets and Ravi Bopara admitted it felt extra sweet because the club were always punching above their weight.

What Chris Silverwood’s side have achieved in the County Championship Division One is like Leicester City winning the Premier League and Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest doing the same in the old First Division.

Bopara, who made his debut for Essex 15 years ago, has seen a lot during his career with the club and is so proud to be part of the squad during this latest title-winning moment.

“We are all so close and we have a lot in common. We share a lot and there’s a lot of honesty in the dressing room as well,” said the former England man.

“The good thing about playing for Essex is when the youngsters come through the academy, they feel this is home.

“We are a small club and we do punch above our weight, but I think everyone relishes that and it is a nice feeling to do that when you go out to play.”

Bopara is one of the many players in the Essex squad to have progressed through the academy and played in the Essex Leagues.

The 32-year-old even found time to play for Hainault & Clayhall in 2017, while Dan Lawrence and Jamie Porter both featured for Chingford, Nick Browne represented South Woodford, Adam Wheater turned out for Woodford Wells and Sam Cook helped his side Chelmsford win the title!

It highlights the outstanding academy at Essex with James Foster (Wanstead) and Varun Chopra (Ilford) two more to have came through the ranks.

Bopara added: “We have a very good youth system at the club and the academy keeps producing good players.

“A lot of them go on to play for England, so the ratio is brilliant, which means we must be doing something right.

“There is also a lot of belief in any person that comes into the squad and they just get on with it.

“We don’t have any of what I would call ‘old-school stuff’ where you have a hierarchy, so there is none of that.

“Everyone is equal in our dressing room whether you have played 15 years for the club or if it is your first season. We are all the same, all equal and all respect each other.”

Since Bopara’s debut back in 2002, he hasn’t hit many better knocks for Essex than the 192 he crunched during an innings victory over Warwickshire on their way to the title.

But the former Brampton Manor student played down his big hundred when asked what his stand-out moment was.

Bopara said: “The 192 was good, but probably the fact we won 10 games beats it because that is a massive highlight.

“There is no better feeling than winning and when you keep winning and winning it is great and you are actually spending less time in the field, which is quite nice.

“It has just been a brilliant all-round performance and every moment has been a highlight for me.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

Yesterday, 17:00

Romford manager Paul Martin wants to build on their recent form and pick up a vital three points against fellow Bostik North strugglers Aveley.

Yesterday, 16:15

Hornchurch’s Colin Lynes is hoping to give himself the perfect 40th birthday present when he returns to the ring next weekend, writes Lee Power.

Yesterday, 16:00

Daggers manager frustrated by fluctuating levels of performance in recent weeks

Yesterday, 15:44

David Moyes has warned West Ham’s record signing Marko Arnautovic to start pulling his weight for the team.

Yesterday, 15:00

Hornchurch goalkeeper Sam Mott is backing his side to get back on a run against Bostik North play-off rivals Hertford Town this weekend.

Yesterday, 14:30

Upminster’s men continued their good run of form in East League Division One with a 4-0 win over Cambridge City at Coopers.

Yesterday, 14:15

Romford’s Kelly Staddon has been celebrating after winning a bronze medal at the European under-23 Championships in Podgorica, Montenegro.

Yesterday, 14:00

Crow Lane club putting plans in place for fixture with Chelmsford on November 25 after London Intermediate Cup tie was cancelled

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now