With the 2018 cricket season coming up fast, we can’t wait to get back in the stands and cheer the Essex team on for what is gearing up to be another exciting year.
The new season gets underway with a visit to Yorkshire on Friday, April 13, with the first home fixture taking place a week later when the Essex team will welcome Lancashire to the Cloudfm County ground. But, whilst we wait for April to come around, let’s review the highlights from last year
Looking back at 2017
2017 was heralded as one of the best-ever seasons in the 141-year history of Essex County Cricket Club:
- The first division title of the Specsavers County Championship found its way back to the Cloudfm County Ground for the first time since 1992
- The team made it to the Royal London Cup semi-final, where only a record run chase by Nottinghamshire prevented the Eagles from reaching the Lord’s final
- Essex became the first county in over 10 years to win both divisions in successive seasons, having won the second division in 2016
As well as success for the team, there were notable individual achievements over the course of the season:
- Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer were the leading wicket-takers in the first division
- Tom Westley earned an England Test call-up and appeared alongside Alastair Cook in the series against the West Indies
- Cook became the first England player to appear in 150 Test matches reaching the landmark in the third Test match in Perth during the recent Ashes series against Australia
- Having guided his troops to title glory, Head Coach Chris Silverwood departed the club to take on the role of Head Bowling Coach within the England set-up whilst his number two at Essex, Anthony McGrath, stepped up to take on Silverwood’s role
What’s in store for 2018?
With so many wonderful moments to look back on, Essex’s Chief Executive Derek Bowden claimed the season was ‘the end of the beginning’ as the club gears up for what will hopefully be an equally exciting 2018.
With the new season only a couple of months away, the club have announced the signings of two Australians to bolster the squad in two formats of the game.
Veteran Test player Peter Siddle will be available for the first five county championship fixtures. Peter will be joined by Compatriot Adam Zampa, who has been signed ahead of the domestic T20 campaign.
Adam featured in the recent one-day Australian side against England, as well as being involved in the current T20 tri-series involving England and New Zealand. And if having two Aussies join the team wasn’t enough, Essex has also announced the return of New Zealand International, Neil Wagner. The Kiwi delivered an impressive performance last year, contributing to the team securing their Championship title.
There are eight one-day cup games and fourteen T20 Blast matches that will once again be eagerly anticipated. And this year, Essex will be hosting India for a four-day tour match in July.
Cloudfm will be supporting the team throughout the season. So, with such an exciting year in store, here’s hoping the sun shines.