Masters to face new Essex colleagues

ESSEX get the Colchester Festival cricket week under way this morning when they entertain Leicestershire in the County Championship, and they need a win if they are to retain any interest in the promotion race.

ESSEX get the Colchester Festival cricket week under way this morning when they entertain Leicestershire in the County Championship, and they need a win if they are to retain any interest in the promotion race.

Defeat to Gloucestershire dented the county's hopes of reaching the First Division, and with only four matches remaining, success in three of those is paramount.

Essex will be without Ravi Bopara for those matches with the all-rounder having joined the England one-day squad for the series with India. Tim Phillips has been drafted into the squad and is likely to bat at No. 4.

The county had also been hoping to include teenage prospect Tom Westley, but he is staying with the England Under-19 squad, who are facing Pakistan in a one-day series.


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Leicestershire include David Masters, who earlier this week signed a three-year deal that will see him join Essex from next season, but the visitors will be without three other frontline bowlers.

While Masters gets the opportunity to meet next year's team colleagues at close quarters, the visitors will be without Stuart Broad, Garnett Kruger and Mansoor Amjad.

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Broad, like Bopara, is in the England squad, while Kruger has returned to South Africa following his extended spell at Grace Road and Mansoor is off to join up with the Pakistan A squad.

Nick Walker, John Sadler and Claude Henderson are recalled to the squad which gained a victory in their last Championship match over Derbyshire at Grace Road.

Leicestershire coach Tim Boon commented on the inclusion of Masters: “David is a wholehearted performer and I know that he will be fully committed to us for the remainder of the season.”

Boon has also called young off-spinner Jigar Naik into his 12-man squad for the trip to Colchester.

Today's squads

Essex squad (from): M Pettini (capt), V Chopra, G Flower, T Phillips, J Foster (wkt), R ten Doeschate, J Middlebrook, G Napier, A Bichel, A Tudor, D Kaneria and T Palladino.

Leicestershire squad (from): P Nixon (capt/wkt), J Maunders, T New, H Ackerman, J Sadler, M Rosenberg, J Allenby, C Henderson, D Masters, J Taylor, N Walker and J Naik.

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