After a six-week break from first-class cricket, Middlesex return to County Championship action tomorrow, with Derbyshire in opposition at Lord’s.
It will be the first time in almost two years that spectators will be able to watch and enjoy a first-class County Championship game at Lord’s, since crowds were last allowed to attend back in September 2019 prior to the pandemic, and there’s sure to be a good crowd in at the Home of Cricket for its long-awaited return.
Middlesex name a fifteen-man squad for the fixture, which will be led by veteran seamer Tim Murtagh, who captained the side to victory against Leicestershire in the Club’s last Championship outing, at Merchant Taylors’ School in mid-July.
With Peter Handscomb returning to Australia last week, earlier than planned, with the rescheduling of the Sheffield Shield seeing it start earlier this year, Murtagh has been confirmed as the appointed captain for the Club’s final four Divisional Championship matches of the summer, with Stephen Eskinazi electing to focus on his batting, rather than take the captaincy reins, as he looks to continue the rich vein of form he is currently in at the crease.
Mark Stoneman is named in the squad, having made the switch from South to North London recently, and he is in line to make his Middlesex first-class debut, adding plenty of experience at the top of the order.
Also named is Toby Roland-Jones, who members and fans will be delighted to see back in action, having missed the large part of the season through injury. His return for the Second Eleven at Radlett last week saw him come through the game in good shape, and he’ll be raring to get back in amongst the wickets at Lord’s this week.
Middlesex name a well-balanced squad, with six seamers, two spinners and a strong batting line-up to complete the squad. Stoneman’s arrival will freshen things up at the top of the Middlesex order, and it remains to be seen how the rest of the top and middle order of the batting line-up is adjusted to accommodate the experienced opener.
With four games remaining, in Division Three of the new structure, Middlesex are playing for pride alone, although Head Coach Stuart Law was keen to point out when interviewed ahead of the game that he’ll be expecting nothing less than 100% from his side and wants them to be at their competitive best throughout the final month of the season, with a view to finishing the season on a positive note.
Middlesex’s fifteen-man squad for the four-day clash is as follows:
Tim Murtagh (Captain)
John Simpson (wk)