Bob Quiney to face old friend in Essex opener
- Credit: Archant
NEW Essex overseas batsman Bob Quiney will go head-to-head with an old friend tomorrow.
Quiney will line-up against fellow countryman Michael Klinger, who he has played club and state cricket with, when Essex start their LV= County Championship season against Gloucestershire at The Essex County Ground, starting at 11am.
The hosts have named the same XI that drew their opening match of the first-class season with Cambridge MCCU when four batsmen completed centuries including overseas signing Quiney.
“To be able to be amongst the lads for a few days was good, they’ve been awesome and spending time in the middle was good preparation for our game with Gloucestershire,” the Australian admitted.
“It was good that so many of our batsmen got a good innings although I know that Ravi (Bopara) was really disappointed to have missed out but that might turn out to be blessing in disguise because he’s going to be even hungrier against Gloucestershire.”
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The visitors have appointed their overseas capture Michael Klinger to lead their side this year and Quiney is on familiar terms with his fellow countryman with both having played for Victoria.
“We used to be good mates from our club side and then played state cricket before he moved elsewhere so we played against each other a few times,” he explained.
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“It will be nice to catch up with him and I’m hoping he has a good season although I also hope he doesn’t do well against us!”
Gloucestershire finished bottom of Division Two suffering more defeats than any other side and that included an opening game defeat by Essex at Chelmsford by an innings and 38 runs.
Essex head coach Paul Grayson is hoping that his side can launch their promotion quest with another opening game success.
“We are all ready to go and it would be nice if we can start with a win,” he admitted.
“Our players had a good work-out at Fenner’s and although we appreciate the opposition will be stronger this week, everyone is keen to get started.
“We’ve got some good competition for places and there’s two or three players who are not in the side against Gloucestershire who can consider themselves unlucky but that’s the nature of the beast. Competition for places is healthy, it keeps everyone on their toes and those who are in our side on Wednesday are well aware that there are players waiting to come in and take their opportunity.
“If we are going to achieve things this year, it won’t be down to 11 or 12 players, it will be because 15 or 16 who have made contributions. As a group, we are in a good place and waiting to start.”
Essex squad: J Foster (capt/wkt), T Westley, R Quiney, B Foakes, R Bopara, M Pettini, G Smith, G Napier, D Masters, M Chambers, T Mills.