Essex coach Grayson says sorry for ‘embarrassing’ defeat to Northants

PILING ON THE RUNS - David Willey (left) and Steven Crook enjoy themselves against Esse last week (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
PILING ON THE RUNS - David Willey (left) and Steven Crook enjoy themselves against Esse last week (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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Essex head coach Paul Grayson has issued a public apology for his team’s ‘embarrassing’ defeat to Northants at the County Ground last week.

Grayson saw his side hammered by an innings and nine runs inside three days at Wantage Road, a result which was set up by Northants’ last two wickets adding 218 runs at more than six an over for a first innings total of 399 all out.

David Willey (76), Steven Crook (88no) and no.11 Trent Copeland (70) were all in dominant batting form as the County recovered from 171 for eight to post their matchwinning total.

It was the second time in their two LV= County Championship innings in the field this year that Essex have conceded around 400 after Gloucestershire made 409 for five declared at Chelmsford.

Essex drew that rain-affected match, but against Northants there was no escape from defeat as they were bowled out for 183 and 207.

In an Essex statement, Grayson said: “As head coach, I feel that I wish to publicly express my apologies to all members and supporters for the shambolic performance produced by the Essex players that resulted in an innings defeat at Northamptonshire last week.

“At one stage on day two with only two first innings wickets intact, our opponents were still trailing by 12 runs but by the time the final two wickets had been claimed, they had forged a lead of 216 runs.

“We then generally batted poorly to add to the obvious shortcomings in the bowling department, all resulting in a defeat by a highly embarrassing margin.

“I feel that it is right that our members and supporters should be aware that the players have been told in no uncertain terms that their performance, as a team, was totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Essex do not play this week but are set to have Alastair Cook available for their next game, following a period of rest for the England Test and one-day international captain.

And Grayson has promised there will be alterations to the line-up.

“I can assure you that changes will be made for the next match that starts on Monday week against Hampshire at Chelmsford,” Grayson added.

“I feel that it is important to stress to our our members and supporters that I, and the coaching staff, will continue to do everything in our powers to bring success to this club but the players have, of course, a major part to play if that desire we hold is to be realised.

“The coaching staff have every confidence in the potential of the squad and we will continue to all work together to get our season back on track.”

Northants, who top the LV= Championship Division Two table after two matches, are back in action on Wednesday when they take on Gloucestershire at Bristol.