Middlesex head into their third Specsavers County Championship encounter of the season against Glamorgan on Friday at Lord’s, ruing the shocking news that they’ll face the entire season without the services of Toby Roland-Jones. It was announced today that the right-arm seamer will be side-lined for the whole of the 2018 campaign, having suffered a recurrence of the lumber stress fracture which ruled him out of the latter stages of last season for Middlesex and the whole of the Ashes tour last winter for England.
The devastating long-term loss of such a proven match-winner like Roland-Jones is a massive blow to the Seaxes, which when combined with the ongoing injuries to key men Eoin Morgan, Steven Finn and Nick Gubbins, means that the club have really been dealt a cruel hand this early in the season.
Middlesex will also be missing the in-form James Harris for the visit of Glamorgan, who has failed to recover from the side stiffness that restricted his workload at Derby. He misses out on this one, although the club hopes he will be fit and available for the Sussex trip after resting this week.
They are buoyed however by the return of club Captain Dawid Malan, who is named in the squad and will lead the side against Glamorgan, having missed out on the season’s two opening County Championship clashes at the request of England, taking an enforced rest after a long winter away on International duty. Also returning from an absence is Stephen Eskinazi, who has thankfully recovered from a viral infection, which also saw him miss out against Northamptonshire and on the trip to Derbyshire. The return of Malan and Eskinazi sees youngster Robbie White make way for the more experienced pairing.
Whilst a concern after the Derby game, Tim Murtagh has thankfully fully recovered from the back spasm he sustained at the 3AAA County Ground and is fit and available for selection.
Steven Finn’s absence continues, although he has recommenced bowling following the sprained knee ligament he sustained in the PSL and will continue to increase his bowling loads over the next two weeks. Nick Gubbins also misses out, with this game coming too soon for him, although the club fully expects him to be fit and available for the trip to Sussex. Eoin Morgan continues to recover from his fractured thumb, however will still not be back batting fully for a couple of weeks yet.
Richard Scott, Middlesex’s Head Coach has named a squad of thirteen for the Glamorgan clash, with left arm paceman Tom Barber recalled to the squad and in contention for a start, whilst James Franklin and George Scott are also retained in the squad named for the last clash in Derby, despite playing no part in the fixture in the midlands.
Having won so comprehensively in the opening match of the season against Northamptonshire at Lord’s, then having suffered a demoralising defeat at the hands of Derbyshire in their next outing last week, Middlesex will be looking to bounce back to form against Glamorgan at the Home of Cricket over the next four days, to reassert themselves in the division and re-establish their position at the top end of the table in these early stage of the campaign.
In Glamorgan they’ll face a side that scored runs a plenty against Gloucestershire in their opening clash of this year’s campaign, which saw them run out winners by six wickets in Bristol.
Richard Scott has named the following thirteen-man squad…
Dawid Malan (captain)
John Simpson (wicket-keeper)