2013 County Fixtures announced
Monday 26 November 2012
Essex, Middlesex and Gloucestershire will visit Fenner's to take on the MCCU in 2013. The fixtures, released this afternoon, provide three fantastic opportunities for the MCCU to take on professional players, and continue to foster the positive impression they have created over the last few years.
Essex arrive first, Friday 5th-Sunday 7th April before Middlesex, Wednesday 24th-Friday 26th April and Gloucestershire, Wednesday 15th-Friday 17th May complete the programme.
All three teams have visited Fenner's over the last two summers, with the MCCU securing creditable draws against Essex and Gloucestershire in 2012, entering the final day of the Gloucestershire match with a serious chance of forcing a result.
Middlesex won at Fenner's in 2011 but against a bowling attack including Steven Finn, this was no embarrassment.
Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara and Sajid Mahmood may all appear for Essex. Harbahjan Singh and Alviro Petersen have been signed as their overseas players. Essex have visited Fenner's regularly over the last few years, and always bring a strong team.
Middlesex have signed James Harris from Glamorgan, and also have the potential to feature England players Steven Finn and Eoin Morgan, as well as overseas player Chris Rogers.
Gloucestershire were captained at Fenner's last year by New Zealand test cricketer Hamish Marshall, and also feature the Gidman brothers, two of the most consistent players on the county circuit.
Having lost Rob Woolley, Pete Turnbull, Ben Ackland and Craig Park, coach Chris Scott has recognised the re-building job he faces as he looks to develop a new generation. The Cambridge quartet Zafar Ansari, Paul Best, Akbar Ansari and Paddy Sadler all have first-class experience, and ARU players such as James Johnson, Dean Bell and Josh Poysden have also performed well in these games in the past. The fixture release will provide a direction to the hard training which is always ongoing, and these three games are highly anticipated by all involved in CUCC.
Further fixture announcements for the MCCU one-day and two-day competitions, as well as the Blues, including the three Varsity fixtures, the Crusaders and the women will be made in due course.