Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Essex Win Lords Cup Final

Congratulations to Essex County Cricket Club, on their victory in the Friends Provident Cup Final at Lords. The veteran Grant Flower was the star this time, with 70 not out.

Essex have been having an excellent season, particularly in the one day game, under their young captain Mark Pettini and coach Paul Grayson, not forgetting in the background the unmistakeable figure of the great Graham Gooch.

It has to be said that Goochie is as proud of coming from Essex as I am!

The county`s resurgence is particularly amazing in view of the loss of so many key players in 2007.

Before the season started, after the retirement of Ashley Cowan, Darren Gough returned to Yorkshire as captain. And then, once the season was underway, Andy Flower left to join the England set up and skipper Ronnie Irani was forced to give up the game because of serious injury.

One day performances this season have been superb.

Not only have they now beaten Kent in the Friends Provident Final, they also reached Finals Day in the Twenty20, going out to Kent in the Semi-Final.

In the Pro 40, they have won all their games so far bar one, a thrilling tie against Leicestershire at Grace Road, with a super quick 99 not out by Ryan ten Doeschate.

The Second XI are in their Cup Final, having coasted to victory at Grace Road recently with a century by Varun Chopra and a fine knock by Tim Phillips, who ended the game with two sixes.

A number of Essex players have reached virtual folklore status. The cultured Alastair Cook seems destined to captain England, wicket keeper batsman James Foster is the subject of much perplexity at continually being ignored by England, and the Pakistani leg spinner Danish Kaneria is one of the finest bowlers in the world.

Ravinder Bopara astonished everybody with his double century in the Friends Provident at Grace Road, while Graham Napier rewrote the record books with 152 in 58 balls in a Twenty20 match.

In that tie at Grace Road, Leicestershire members were of course delighted to see the relatively cheap removals of Napier and Bopara, not realising that ten Doeschate can be just as devastating a batsman as the others.

Well done Essex. It looks like this team could be in for another period of ascendancy.