CHRIS Silverwood says it is a shame Essex will not be attending the Colchester Cricket Festival in 2017.

The club announced they would not be playing their annual fixture at Castle Park, following a change to the fixture schedule this season.

With the T20 Blast fixtures played in a block throughout July, it means playing at Colchester would have meant a three month period without a County Championship game at the Essex County Ground.

And Silverwood said all Essex could do was focus on matters in their control.

“It’s nice to go to the festival grounds but the decision has been made,” he said.

“But as players and coaches we do as we are told.

“We enjoy playing there but we accept the schedule and look forward to the matches we have to come.”

Club chairman John Faragher insists that, although suspended for this season, he hoped to see the Colchester Cricket Festival back in the schedule for 2018.