County news January 31, 2007

Irani targets new season

Cricinfo staff

Essex captain Ronnie Irani is confident about being fit for the start of the season after hip and knee operations during the winter. He made two trips to Colorado to visit world renowned doctors Marc Philippon and Richard Steadman.

Irani says both surgeries have been successful and he has now started a period of rehabilitation with the target of leading Essex for their first game of the season, against Derbyshire at Chelmsford on April 18.

"You can never say definitely, even if you are sat here fully fit having never had an operation in your life, because you can always break down before the beginning of the season," said Irani. "But as things are being managed and as things are going at the moment I have my fingers crossed."

"You never tempt fate but I'm happy with the process and ideally if things continue to go as they are I should be ahead of schedule and definitely fit for the start of the season."