Snow to greet start of cricket season?

IT is just days away from the start of the cricket season - but weather experts are warning of more wintry weather, and even a snow shower or two.

Craig Robinson

IT is just days away from the start of the cricket season - but weather experts are warning of more wintry weather, and even a snow shower or two.

A cold blast of Arctic air is expected to sweep down from the north over the weekend and could bring periods of sleet or snow.

Sports fans will hope the icy blast returns with little more than a whimper as the summer sports season is set to start in a matter of weeks.

Cricket's County Championship begins on April 16 and yesterday Essex continued to prepare for their campaign with a friendly against Middlesex.

A hardy band of fans turned out at the Ford County Ground in Chelmsford to watch the two-day match, which ends today.

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While some made the most of the sunshine and exposed their arms and legs to the elements others remained wrapped up in hooded tops and jumpers.

T-shirts and shorts aside there was still a distinct chill in the April air - and forecasters predict that worse could be set to come at the weekend.

John Bacon, from WeatherQuest, said: “There is a chance that we might get some wintry showers because of a stream of cold Arctic air which is flowing down the North Sea.

“They won't last particularly long - and the air temperature should be high enough to ensure it will melt quickly - but we could experience some sleet or snow.”

Mr Bacon said the temperatures of between 10C and 11C are average for this time of year but the icy blast from the north could make it seem colder.

Essex's next match will be against a Cambridge University XI on Saturday April 12 and three days later they will start their opening fixture in Division Two of the County Championship against Northamptonshire.

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