Eagles can soar
Andy Bichel told Cricket AM Essex can still gain promotion to Division One of the County Championship.
Last Updated: 07/08/07 10:16am
Former Australia bowler Andy Bichel told Cricket AM that his county, Essex can gain promotion to Division One of the County Championship despite trailing Somerset and Nottinghamshire.
The former Australia Test and one-day international believes that Essex have performed well this season even though they have had to deal with the departure of some of their best players.
"We've played pretty well this year," said Bichel, "especially after a few big stepping stones we had to encounter at the start of the year."
"What with Ronnie Irani retiring through injury, Darren Gough leaving and Andy Flower going to be part of the England coaching team so we've lost lots of big players but it has given some of the young guys lots of opportunity. We also have a new coach now in Paul Grayson so there's a lot things going on at Essex and it all looks good from where I'm sitting.
With five games left to play, including a crunch match with leaders Somerset, does Bichel believe that Essex can gain promotion into Division One?
"That's our ultimate goal," he said, "we just missed out last year in the last game of the season - it was amazing really. But in the last few weeks we've lost around 530 overs to the weather.
"We had Somerset on the rack and then we didn't play on the last day. Then against Gloucestershire we didn't bowl a ball for the first three days so that has put us a bit behind, but Nottinghamshire have got to play Somerset twice before the end of the season so we know there are some points there that we can catch up on somewhere along the way."
And having not played a Test since 2003, how does he feel that the likelihood is he will never walk out for his country again?
"The glass is always half full instead of half empty for me and I had a fantastic time when I was with the Australia side. I achieved some great things - 21 straight One-day wins and 12 Test wins. Just being a part of that and the way we changed the face of cricket in that era was great.
"I am approaching 100 games with Queensland which not many people have done and hopefully I'll make that next year."