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Clydesdale Bank 40: Leicestershire Foxes v Essex Eagles

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England one day captain Alastair Cook is available for Essex Eagles Clydesdale Bank 40 opener against Leicestershire Foxes tomorrow.

The ECB have given clearance for both Cook and Ravi Bopara to play overseas star Alviro Petersen will make his one-day debut for the county.

Despite their potent batting line-up, Head Coach Paul Grayson is expecting a tough opening match.

“Leicestershire will provide us with a difficult start, they won the FL t20 last year so that are a good one-day outfit but we go there confident of doing well,” he said.

“We are in a tough group and it’s important that we get off to a good start because we don’t want to be playing catch-up as the competition progresses.

“So we are looking forward to getting our one-day season under way with a positive performance on Monday, especially as the CB40 is a format we like and are looking to perform well in.

“A couple of years ago, we reached the semi-final before we were beaten by Somerset and last year, our prospects of reaching the knockout stages were hampered by the weather.

“Three of our matches were affected by rain and each time, we felt that we were in an excellent position to go on and win each game so that was frustrating.

“We’ve got Cookie and Ravi playing at Leicester and there’s probably only going to be a couple of occasions when we have both of them available in the CB40 before they go off to join England.”

Squad: Foster, Cook, Pettini, Petersen, Bopara, Wheater, Smith, Phillips, Masters, Mills, Willoughby, Comber, Topley.

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