Tuesday 15 April 2008 

2008 County Preview - Leicestershire

After a below par season in 2007, the Foxes will be looking to bounce back and become title challengers. Last year Leicestershire had a poor County Championship, finishing in eighth place in Division Two. Their One Day form was no better, as for the first time they failed to reach the Twenty20 finals day, which was a competition that they had began to make a name for themselves in. They also finished sixth place in the
Friends Provident trophy and a disappointing seventh in the Pro40.

The Foxes have been very busy over the off season by changing their squad, with many departing and coming in, which shows that the club definitely was not happy with last years performances on the whole and thought things needed a re-shuffle.

Boeta Dippenaar has signed to add some much needed experience at the top of the order, which they have lacked since the loss of Darren Maddy. He is one of many South African players who have been brought in to produce the goods at Grace Road. Dillon Du Preez, who has been in great form during the domestic season in South Africa has been brought in on a Kolpak, he will add vital quality to the bowling department along with Garnet Kruger.

The two should rip through a few county sides this summer in both forms of the game as they just add more class to the side than before. They have also signed West Indian Fast bowler, Jermaine Lawson. Lawson will spearhead an ever growing Leicestershire bowling attack.

He will be keen to make a good impression at Grace Road to progress his career following in the footsteps of the likes of Mohammed Asif, R. P. Singh, Jerome Taylor and Stuart Broad. In West Indies domestic cricket in 2007 he was the leading wicket taker and is apparently bowling with real pace having remodelled his action. Stuart Broad is the biggest loss to Leicestershire having come through the youth system.

It looks like they might have to use more talented youngsters such as Josh Cobb, Harry Gurney and James Taylor. This would not be a bad option as they have all shown great potential. In the recent Under-19 World Cup, Taylor was England most consistent batsman and will look for a profitable first season with the Foxes.

The Foxes will definitely want to produce a more memorable season, the signing they have will add that extra class to the squad, which should rub off onto the other players.

In: Boeta Dippenaar, Garnett Kruger,Joel Pope, James Taylor, Nadeem Malik,
Jermaine Lawson, Dillon Du Preez
Out: Stuart Broad, David Masters,Darren Robinson, John Maunders,Arno Jacobs, Mark Rosenberg, David Stiff,John Sadler, Paul Harrison, Nick Walker

2008 Predictions:


County Championship Division Two: 6th
Pro40 Division Two: 3rd
Friends Provident Trophy: 5th
Twenty20 Cup: Quarter Finals
Star Man: Boeta Dippenaar
Top Tip: Garnett Kruger

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By Pierce Morley-Barnes