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As a fully paid up adult member of Essex County Cricket here are my thoughts on the Essex Cricket Ground Capacity 6000 Chairman David East Address Essex CCC County Ground New Writtle Street Chelmsford Essex CM2 0PG The Essex county Cricket ground can be found right in the heart of Chelmsford. Best way to get there for most is by train as it's just a quarter mile walk to the ground and you have the fantastic Railway Tavern pub outside the train station to get yourself in the mood for a lovely day of cricket. I say lovely day of cricket, unless it's been raining as unfortunately the ground is set lower than the river Chelmer and is therefore prone to flooding so best you check what has happened the day before in Chelmsford or ring the ground direct on 01245 252420 There are current plans to extend capacity to 8000 this year but you have to ask yourself would it be better to relocate to a better piece of land which is set higher than the river Chelmer ? Gripes - you don't get free access in your membership to the 20-20 matches but you do get a discount off tickets As an annual attendee to the Christmas dinners I can recommend them for a good laugh and suggest you have a couple in the Railway Tavern first as it makes the Q&A with the chairman and guests all the more interesting. A good game of higher or lower on cricket stats could do with a better prize than a tie, perhaps a signed bat but they normally have a good array of raffle prizes.
A season already to forget for Essex, considering early cup exits and perilous league positions already have the county faithful looking to next term. Injury upon injuries, internal altercations, being forced into blooding youth on too many occasions and a general raging inconsistency have all contributed to a so far fruitless campaign that has quickly tempered last season's promotion success. The apparent lack of confidence is seemingly destroying each area of the field at will - Robinson Grayson and Prichard, who having taken stock of the situation has decided to call it a day come the end of the year because of various childish wrangles over captaincy, have struggled to such a degree that Stuart Law, long time saviour but more a law unto himself of late, must be getting fed up of trying to save the bacon of the batsmen ahead of him. However, if talent is going to be blighted by an unforeseen big-headedness that becomes too overbearing for the Chelmsford pitch, maybe the time is right for our overworked talisman to depart. Irani has showed admirable perseverance in trying to rally his troops while performing with bat and ball, but too often the exeuberance of talented but prematurely blooded likes of Bishop, McGarry, Clinton et al have proved the lack of strength in depth Essex possess. 'Seasoned' youngsters such as Hyam and Peters have found themselves thrust sporadically into the ranks, yet despite experience in the first team, extended responsibility because of injuries and poor form has hindered their progress.With Hussain, Cowan and Anderson ocuupying the treatment table rather than the crease and the presumptious releases pre-season of Danny Law and Ian Flanagan, it's easy to say Essex have bore the brunt of bad luck. The difficult part is assessing which direction they are headed next. With the long-serving and the free-scoring both on their way out, it looks increasingly difficult for Essex to reproduce the glory days of years gone by...
Watch out this season, because Essex may be the surprisingly succesful team of the Crinfo County Championship of 2001. Recently promoted from division 2 after a good season last year, Ronnie Irani the skipper has a team of experience mixed with young talent, and it might just be very succesful. Overseas Player: Essex possess one of the most reliable overseas players in England, Stuart Law. The Australian batsman has only played one test match for his country and although he would walk into England's batting line up, he will probably not add to his solitary test match cap. Still, he is a very good batsman, who constantly tops 1000 runs for the season, usually going further (he scored 1700 runs a few seasons back). Useful both in the four day match and one day arena, he bats at number four and can also field very well, although his meduim pace has been used less and less. An excellent player. Captain: Ronnie Irani is the sort of player who gives his all, and wears the Essex logo on his heart. Fiercely competetive and also an accomplished all-rounder, he had a brilliant season 2000 scoring over 1000 runs and taking 42 wickets. He too is unlikely to play again for England, he last represented his country in 1999 against New Zealand, but like Law is an excellent player. Vital to the Essex cause. Batting: Essex's problems lie in their batting. They do tend to rely too much on Law and Irani, while an array of young talented players have underacheived. They have experience in Nasser Hussain and Paul Pritchard, but while the latter is no where near as prolific as in his earlier days, the former is England skipper and does not play too often. Darren Robinson and Paul Grayson are two useful players, Grayson having represented England in the one day game recently (I find that very surprising) and have experience behind them. For the batting to really glow, Essex need their younger players to perform. Stephen Peters and Will Jefferson (standing at 6 feet 10) have begun the season well. While Peters has been around for a couple of seasons, usually averaging in the 20s, Jefferson is fairly new and looks very promising. All in all, Essex's bating has a great deal of promise and will score runs, most probably due to Stuart Law. Bowling: This is the strength for Essex, as they have a good pace attack, and one of the most experienced spin bowlers in the country. Mark Illot, the left armer is prone to injury, but when he does play he is very effectice-he has also played for England. Ashly Cowan is another, and he can bat too, although not quite an allrounder. Peter Such is the experienced England off-spinner, who can still bowl sides out, while the youngsters fill in the rest of the places. Riccy Anderson has started the season very well and McGarry-another pace bowler-has been promising too. With Such soon to retire, Tim Mason must improve as the second in line spinner, and Grayson also bowls slow left arm. Wicket-keepers: James Foster is a young keeper with a great future. He played for England A in the winter and has scored a few fifties in his games for county and country. Barry Hyam is not such a good batsman, but a decent keeper, and it will be interesting to see who becomes the regular keeper. Overall, this team will be hard to beat, it has great potential in both batting and bowling. The star players are Law, Irani, Illot and Cowan and with all these firing on all cylinders, Essex will stay up. Prediction for 2001: 4th in division 1 but not as well in the one-day games. A team for the future.
County Cricket Ground / New Writtle Street / Chelmsford / Essex / CM2 0PG