New start for Essex

PUBLISHED: 09:50 21 March 2012

Essex start their new season today (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Essex start their new season today (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Friendly opener for county side

Essex begin a new county cricket season with a two-day friendly against Surrey today.

New signing Charl Wiloughby is unlikely to play due to slight injury, but he is the only doubt in the squad.

Head coach Paul Grayson said: “We haven’t started the past two seasons as well as we would’ve liked.

“The lads have been working hard and there is a determination to achieve well as a team and individually.”

Play starts at the County Ground in Chelmsford at 11am and entry is free to all, with access to the pavilion also available.

Essex host Middlesex in a one-day game on Monday, before facing Worcestershire in another two-day friendly starting next Wednesday.

Then, after the traditional first-class curtain-raiser against Cambridge University at Fenner’s, Essex start the new County Championship Division Two season with a home match against Gloucestershire (April 5).

Essex have signed South African batsman Alviro Peterson, 31, for the first half of the new season.

He will stay with the county until the clash with Northants which starts on June 6.

Australian Peter Siddle, 27, will join up with the squad in time for their opening T20 game against Surrey at The Oval a week later.

And Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has said he also hopes to secure a contract with Essex for the shortest form of the game, although the county have yet to confirm any link with the player.

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