Tendo looks ahead to a special week ahead

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Posted on Sunday 24 September 2017

The reality of what Essex have achieved this season will be made flesh later this week when Ryan ten Doeschate holds aloft the Specsavers County Championship trophy in front of the Pavilion at Chelmsford.

The presentation, and obligatory spraying of champagne, will take place at the conclusion of the final four-day game of a long summer, when Yorkshire start their visit today.

Essex have had to wait two weeks since the first County Championship title in 25 years was confirmed, before getting their hands on the tangible reward for a campaign in which they are still unbeaten, having won nine of the 13 games thus far, and 69 points clear of the rest.

“What we have achieved has surpassed everything we expected,” said the Captain. “We’ve surpassed what anyone else has done before in this competition in terms of sheer number of wins and the ratio of wins.

“It will be an incredible achievement if we go through the season unbeaten, but I don’t think it will take any gloss off the season if we don’t manage to do it.

“But I certainly felt there was a massive desire leading up to the Hampshire game last week, not only to stay unbeaten but to try and win another game.

“On the second day it felt like we’d messed that up. There was a lot of disappointment in the changing room, which was pleasing considering we’d won the league and you think it’s all done and dusted.

“But everyone wants to stay unbeaten. It’s going to be a tough challenge again against Yorkshire, what with everything sewn up and coming down off the high of winning at Southampton, but we want to come home and put on a bit of a show at Chelmsford one last time.”

Essex beat Hampshire despite collapsing to 76 all out, by a long chalk the lowest total of the season, and having to follow-on in the process. “The ability to bounce back from tough positions has probably been one of our best traits this season,” said ten Doeschate.

“The most pleasing performance was Sam Cook’s five-fer in the second innings. He’s bowled beautifully, and it was only his third Championship game. And Dan Lawrence as well. He had a pretty quiet middle part of the season, but he showed what a good player he is, particularly in a situation like that.”

Essex will face Yorkshire without Alastair Cook despite the England opener being made available for the last three games by the ECB. Ten Doesechate explained: “Look, Cooky is a massive luxury to have and at the same time we want to give him every chance to enjoy a bit of time off with his young family. We know how incredibly hard he works.

“If we needed the points for whatever reason he would have been available and we would have picked him. But we felt it would be tough to leave one of the batters out. Plus we’d rather let him get away from the game when we don’t need him, in the hope that it will work in our favour when we do need him – he’ll be more keen to reciprocate the favour!”

Cook, however, will be around during the week and will be a conspicuous participant in the post-match celebrations.

Ten Doeschate is relishing the prospect of lifting the trophy. “It has been an emotional month for me personally. It’s not a secret that my dad passed away at the end of last month and I went home to South Africa and did what I had to do. I was pretty exhausted after that Warwickshire week [when the title was confirmed] and a little bit ill as well.

“If I had known it was going to be such a good ride-in I could have possibly spent another week at home. But it’s just great to be involved at this special time, and my mind is pretty much back on the cricket now.

“The trophy is about a lot more than the team; it’s about the club as well. The people who come and watch Championship cricket so religiously make it far more enjoyable for us and in hope it is an enjoyable week for them. I hope they get as much joy and pride out of the trophy coming back to Essex as we do.”

Tickets for all 4 days of this week’s match against Yorkshire are on sale now with discounts available when purchased in advance. These are priced £13 Adults, £10 Students/Young Adults and £5 for Juniors. Book online now…

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