Essex boss Paul Grayson sorry for 'shambolic' display

Rob Quiney

Essex head coach Paul Grayson has apologised to supporters for the "embarrassing" and "shambolic" innings

The Chelmsford club collapsed from 94-2 to 207 all out in their second innings.

Grayson did not speak to the media following the result on Friday.

But in a statement released three days later, he said: "As head coach, I feel I wish to publicly express my apologies to all members and supporters for the shambolic performance."

He added: "At one stage on day two, with only two first-innings wickets intact, our opponents were still trailing by 12 runs. But by the time the final two wickets had been claimed, they had forged a lead of 216 runs.

"We then generally batted poorly to add to the obvious shortcomings in the bowling department - all resulting in a defeat by a highly embarrassing margin.

"I feel that it is right that our members and supporters should be aware that the players have been told in no uncertain terms that their performance, as a team, was totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

England captain Alastair Cook is expected to make his first appearance of the season for Essex, who are in their third consecutive season in Division Two, against Hampshire next week.

The batsman missed the season-opening draw against Gloucestershire as well as the defeat against Northamptonshire.

Grayson added: "I can assure you that changes will be made for the next match that starts on Monday week against Hampshire at Chelmsford.

"I feel that it is important to stress to our members and supporters that I, and the coaching staff, will continue to do everything in our powers to bring success to this club.

"But the players have, of course, a major part to play if that desire we hold is to be realised.

"The coaching staff have every confidence in the potential of the squad and we will continue to all work together to get our season back on track."