We preview the third round of matches in the LV= County Championship which begin tomorrow, and round-up the rest of the county news in today’s County Cricket Round-Up.
Lancashire v Warwickshire at Liverpool
Oliver Newby and Gary Keedy have been added to the eleven that lost to Sussex last week, with Tom Smith still ruled out with a hamstring injury. The Bears are boosted by the return of England batsman Ian Bell.
Middlesex v Durham at Lord’s
The home side, led by Chris Rogers (see County News In Brief below), welcome England duo Steven Finn and Andrew Strauss back into their starting eleven. Corey Collymore has been rested, while Gareth Berg is a doubt with a chest infection. Steven Crook has been included as cover. Paul Collingwood makes his return to the Durham squad after recovering from a virus, with Ruel Brathwaite also added to the side that lost to Nottinghamshire last week.
Nottinghamshire v Somerset at Trent Bridge
Harry Gurney is added to Nottinghamshire’s successful Chester-le-Street side and will be hoping to displace Andy Carter in the starting eleven. Meanwhile, Somerset are without Adam Dibble (see CNIB below), with all-rounders Lewis Gregory and Craig Meschede battling to replace him.
Surrey v Worcestershire at The Oval
Jacques Rudolph is a late withdrawal for Surrey for “family reasons”, with Jason Roy set to replace him. Stuart Meaker is also included in a 12-man squad. Worcestershire all-rounder Gareth Andrew has been deemed not fully match fit by the club’s coaching staff despite featuring in the draw against Oxford MCCU last week. Jack Shantry has been added to the side that was beaten by Nottinghamshire a fortnight ago.
Derbyshire v Leicestershire at Derby
Tim Groenewald has recovered from the injury that kept him out of last week’s match against Glamorgan and returns to the home side’s 13-man squad. Mark Turner is the other man, alongside the eleven that beat the Welsh county, to feature in the squad. Ramnaresh Sarwan will lead the visitors’ charge in the absence of Hoggard (see CNIB below), while Nathan Buck and Will Jefferson continue to miss out due to back injuries. Alex Wyatt, Jigar Naik and Nadeem Malik will battle to fill Hoggard’s place in the bowling attack.
Glamorgan v Hampshire at Cardiff
Robert Croft misses out for the home side owing to a slight back injury, with Huw Waters and Nick James vying to replace him from the eleven that lost to Derbyshire. Hampshire have named an unchanged squad from the one that narrowly lost to Gloucestershire with David Griffiths hoping to find a place in the starting eleven this time around. James Tomlinson has still not been declared match fit.
Kent v Gloucestershire at Canterbury
Chris Piesley has replaced Alex Blake in Kent’s 12-man squad although their starting eleven is expected to be the same as the one which demolished Northamptonshire last week. Gloucestershire have called-up former Hampshire all-rounder Benny Howell, who is currently on trial at the County Ground, in place of the injured Dan Housego who has a shoulder problem.
Yorkshire v Essex at Headingley
The home side have omitted Adam Lyth and the injured Richard Pyrah from the squad for their Championship match against Kent, and have included in their places winter signing Phil Jaques, off-spinner Azeem Rafiq and pace-bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby. Essex are strengthened by the return of England batsman Ravi Bopara and seamer Charl Willoughby, who has recovered from a groin strain.
Weather Forecast: There are likely to be significant interruptions every day for most of the matches, with only Cardiff, in the west, expected to see anything like a full day’s play tomorrow. It continues to be chilly with highs of between 11 and 14 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
MIDDLESEX batsman Neil Dexter is to stand down as the club’s captain in the LV= County Championship in order to re-discover his form with the bat. He will continue to be club, CB40 and Friends Life t20 captain and will be replaced in the Championship by Chris Rogers.
Former Nottinghamshire left-arm fast-bowler Mark Footitt has signed a one-year extension to his existing contract with DERBYSHIRE.
Members of LANCASHIRE CCC have voted to abolish the existing committee structure at the club in favour of a new board as they aim to turn around their perilous financial position. Chairman Michael Cairns said, “We now have the freedom to appoint professional people in all the facets of the operation this club needs.”
WARWICKSHIRE all-rounder Chris Woakes, who is recovering from an ankle injury, has said that he aims to be back playing first-team cricket some time during May.
SOMERSET seamer Adam Dibble “could be out [of action] for several weeks” after sustaining an intercostal injury during his impressive performance last week against Warwickshire.
The cricket kit of late SURREY and England all-rounder Ben Hollioake has been stolen from his parents’ home in Australia according to his brother Adam. Some of the kit was later recovered by Western Australia Police.
YORKSHIRE are understood to be close to signing Australian fast-bowler Mitchell Starc as their overseas player for at least part of the year. The club are also believed to be looking for a loan deal for talented opener Adam Lyth.
LEICESTERSHIRE captain Matthew Hoggard will be out for up to a month after undergoing an operation on a hand injury.
© Cricket World 2012