Wicket to Wicket…

Brian Jeeves

What’s in store for Essex Cricket in 2024?

With the new cricket season tantalisingly close for Essex Cricket’s Men, Women, Ability and Super 9s, Yellow Sport caught up with members of the respective squads at the club’s press day and asked about pre-season, personal ambitions and targets for Essex over the coming months… 

Patrick Ward – Essex Cricket Ability – Head Coach

“Pre-season has gone really well. We’ve had great numbers. Great players have turned up.

“We have pushed the guys this year. We have tried different skills in each session. Fielding, bowling, batting drills and the guys have really responded to it well.”

Essex Cricket Ability

Kelly Castle – Essex Cricket Women All-rounder – Captain

“Realistic ambitions? For Essex just to win as much as we can really. 

“Last year, we had a really good season. We just fell a bit short in the T20s. But we just want to win as many trophies as we can and we’ve got a really good squad to do that.”

Yellow Sports Brian Jeeves collecting the thoughts of Prisha Bedi and Kelly Castle ahead of the forthcoming season (Courtesy of Essex Cricket)

Billy Gibbons – Essex Cricket Ability – Off-spin bowler

“Pre-season went pretty well as we got extra new players, which is a great opportunity for us as a team, and we are able to help each other as much as possible. 

“I want to help the team to work together for a good performance when we are in the game. 

“I will be able to deliver my off-spin bowling to my best ability, as I can build upon my performance as well as the team performance.”

Jordan Cox – Essex Cricket Men – Wicketkeeper/batter

“I think to go one better than they did last year. Win the Vitality Blast and hopefully win the County Championship. I think that’s realistic.

“I think that is very doable with the squad that we’ve got here. I definitely think that the depth of the squad, even some of the youngsters here are very, very good cricketers – under 19s boys. I can’t see why we can’t do the double.

“The 50-over competition – I’m not sure how that went last year. But the depth of the squad here, in fact, I don’t see why we can’t go for the treble!”

Prisha Bedi – Essex Cricket Women – Right-Arm Leg-Break bowler

“The winter training has gone well, we train virtually every week and have developed so much since last summer. I’m so excited for the start of the season.”

Essex Cricket Women

Bradley Donovan – Essex Cricket Ability – Super 9s captain

“Pre-season has gone well. We’ve got some new players in and some players that have come back. The squad is jelling quite well.

“We are encouraged by numbers and might field a Super 9s Development squad as well this summer. That shows the progression of the squad.

“We are ready for the new season. Hopefully, we can get a trophy on the sideboard as well.”

Essex Cricket Ability Super 9s captain Bradley Donovan

Paul Walter – Essex Cricket Men- All-rounder

“For me personally, it is all about the team.

“Personal targets are to be up there challenging and putting our name in the hat for the titles.”

Alfie Jeeves – Essex Cricket Ability – Right-arm Leg-break bowler

“As a lifelong supporter, playing for Essex is everything to me. 

“I aim to keep improving as a cricketer. Take more wickets, and catches, and score more runs. 

“We were so close last year, finishing runners-up in the D40 Pursuit National Final having won the south title without losing a game. If I could help us go one better and win it this summer, that would be amazing.”

Essex Cricket Ability duo, Alfie Jeeves and Billy Gibbons face the questions

Cathy Dalton – Essex Cricket Women – All-rounder

“You always go out into a county season looking to win everything that you are in. Last year we won the 50-over Championship, so retaining that this year. Hopefully, we can get a bit better in the T20 and win that as well.”

Amara Law- Essex Cricket Ability – Left-arm Medium-fast bowler

“I definitely want to take more wickets this season and a few more maidens in my role opening the bowling.

“I’d also like to improve my batting this season. Score a few runs and do even more for the team.”

Nick Browne – Essex Cricket Men – Left-handed opening batter 

“I think first of all, for me is to win the County Championship. We came close last year. I think it is about time this team won it again. Hopefully, we can. We have got the squad to do it.

“Always, I set a goal at the start of the year to score a thousand first-class runs. If I can do that, then hopefully that will help set the team up well to try to win it.”

Harry Willis – Essex Cricket Ability – Medium-Fast bowler

“I’d like to improve my batting. Bat a bit more – get a few more runs and add something extra to the team.”

Essex Cricket Ability

Joe Moss – Essex Cricket Ability – All-rounder

“I’m targeting twenty-one wickets and four hundred runs minimum, improving on last season. 

“I want to win every game and help the team out as much as possible by playing to the best of my ability.”

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk