Head Coach Stuart Law has named a fourteen-man squad for the Club's return to four-day action as his side head to the West Country to take on Gloucestershire at the Cheltenham Festival this week.
Having spent the last three and a half weeks focussing on the Vitality Blast, a return to the red-ball format sees the captaincy reins passed back to Australian Peter Handscomb, who will take charge of a side looking to finish the four-day campaign well to restore some pride and build some confidence ahead of the Royal London Cup which starts later this month.
Only one victory from the opening eight matches in the County Championship sees Middlesex firmly rooted to the bottom of the Group Two table in sixth place, and with a gap of thirty three points to Leicestershire in fifth place and forty one points to Surrey in fourth, a bottom two finish in the Group stages looks all but guaranteed. The net result of which, would see Middlesex playing the second phase of the newly restructured County Championship in Division Three of the competition, competing for a thirteenth place finish at best.
Whilst aspirations of any silverware in the Championship are long gone for his side, Stuart Law will be looking for his players to step up, represent the Club with pride, show some fighting spirit, and play with passion for the remainder of the campaign, to at least salvage something from what has been a disappointing campaign to date.
With the playing schedule throwing up a few challenges over the next fortnight, with two four-day games and four T20 games thrown into the mix, the players will need to come to terms with switching formats from one game to the next, and the squad that Stuart Law has named for the Championship clash starting tomorrow includes six players who played in Taunton on Friday night in the Vitality Blast.
Peter Handscomb's side are strengthened by the addition of New Zealand international Daryl Mitchell, who, having settled in brilliant into Middlesex's Vitality Blast side this season, will also be available for selection for the next two Championship clashes, this week down in Cheltenham and next week at Merchant Taylors' School against Leicestershire.
Both Mitchell's and Handscomb's experience at the highest level will be invaluable to guide and mentor a young Middlesex squad, which includes two nineteen years olds and one twenty year old, making the likes of Ethan Bamber, at the ripe old age of 22, look like a an old-timer in the squad!
One of those youngsters named, and looking to make his debut in Middlesex's Championship side is Josh De Caires, who having served an impressive apprenticeship in the Club's Second Eleven, having come through the Club's Academy with distinction, is deemed ready for a step up into the First Eleven.
Head Coach Stuart Law has named the following fourteen man squad for this week's clash with Gloucestershire:
Peter Handscomb (c)
Josh De Caires
John Simpson (wk)