Cook missing from Essex squad

ESSEX will still be without England opener Alastair Cook for their LV County Championship Division Two clash with Gloucestershire tomorrow. The 24-year-old has still not recovered from a hairline fracture to his finger, which kept him out of the draw with

ESSEX will still be without England opener Alastair Cook for their LV County Championship Division Two clash with Gloucestershire tomorrow, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

The 24-year-old has still not recovered from a hairline fracture to his finger, which kept him out of the draw with Derbyshire and victory over Northamptonshire in the Friend's Provident Trophy on Sunday.

Tom Westley returns to the squad after playing for Durham University last week, but it is expected that Essex will go with the same team that drew with Derby.

Head coach, Paul Grayson, said: "Alastair underwent some tests this morning (Monday) and is still in some degree of pain, however it is very much hoped that he can play against the West Indies this weekend".

"We have to admit that with the bad weather, Derbyshire had the upper hand over the four days. However after the pleasing win yesterday over Northants, confidence is very high.

"The team are very much looking forward to the week ahead before returning to play the West Indies at Chelmsford."

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Meanwhile, Matt Walker, who hit 69 not out against Northants as Essex romped to a seven-wicket win over the weekend, spoke out about his promising start to life in Chelmsford.

"It was great to get out there and score some runs in front of the Chelmsford crowd in my first one-day game for Essex. Most importantly it was great to contribute to a fantastic win, and get our defence of the Friends Provident Trophy off to a great start," he said, before turning his thoughts to the clash with Gloucestershire.

"It is another important game and hopefully we can get our first win in the LV County Championship. It is always a difficult place to go to and play but confidence is high, if we play to our potential hopefully we can get the right result.

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