We look ahead to the fifth round of matches in the LV= County Championship which get underway tomorrow, as well as rounding up the rest of the news from the county circuit.
Lancashire v Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford
England internationals Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and James Anderson are to take part in what promises to be a high-octane encounter in Manchester after the trio were given permission to play by the ECB. There is no place for Gary Keedy in the home team’s 13-man squad, while Luke Fletcher has been rested by the Outlaws. Steven Mullaney, Paul Franks, Ben Phillips, Harry Gurney and Andy Carter will be competing for two places in Nottinghamshire’s starting eleven.
Warwickshire v Durham at Edgbaston
Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott will again be available for the home side. Durham have included Ian Blackwell in their 13-man squad following his recovery from a shoulder injury, while Ben Stokes will play as a batsman only (see County News In Brief)
Derbyshire v Gloucestershire at Derby
Derbyshire have added Mark Turner and Tim Groenewald to the eleven that played Leicestershire a fortnight ago, while Gloucestershire have included Paul Muchall, David Wade, Benny Howell and Kane Williamson in a 13-man squad.
Glamorgan v Essex at Cardiff
Jim Allenby is still out with a back injury for the home side, meaning that the 12-man squad is unchanged from the one that was due to face Gloucestershire. Essex welcome back Alastair Cook into their line-up and have also added leg-spinner Tom Craddock to the side that were on duty against Northamptonshire.
Northamptonshire v Hampshire at Wantage Road
Northamptonshire have axed Con de Lange from their squad, with captain Andrew Hall now fully recovered from his calf injury and hoping to play his first Championship match of the season. For Hampshire, club captain Jimmy Adams’ absence continues owing to personal reason, with Simon Katich again taking up the reins. Their key selection decision will be whether or not to once again leave out talented left-arm spinner Danny Briggs in favour of an extra seamer.
Yorkshire v Leicestershire at Scarborough
Anthony McGrath takes Ajmal Shahzad’s place in 12-man squad following the shock departure of the 26 year-old (see CNIB) as the only change from the squad that played against Kent. Leicestershire will be mulling over their bowling options having left Claude Henderson out of their eleven against Hampshire last week. Jigar Naik won’t play and has been released for second-team duty.
Oxford MCCU v Kent at The Parks (not first-class)
Charlie Shreck has been rested for the visitors, but youngsters Daniel Bell-Drummond, Adam Ball and Sam Northeast are all set to feature. Ben Kemp could feature for the home side against his county employers.
Day Two, MCCU Match, Leeds/Bradford MCCU v Sussex at Leeds (not first-class)
The students ended a rain-affected opening day on 111 for five at Leeds, with captain Richard Moore ending unbeaten and as the top-scorer with 31. Tomorrow should see Academy youngsters Harry Finch and Callum Jackson get the chance to bat for the visitors, while stand-in captain Kirk Wernars will want to follow up his two wickets today with the ball with an equally impressive performance with the bat.
Weather Forecast: Following the wettest April for over a century, the forecast for the first week of May looks to be slightly better. Tomorrow should be mostly dry with scattered showers in the midlands and the north, with highs of between 14 and 17 degrees Celsius, while the next three days are also likely to be largely dry barring a rain in the south on Thursday.
County News In Brief:
Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes is to have a scan on his back to assess the extent of an injury which currently prevents him from bowling.
After telling Leicestershire that he could not fulfil a previously agreed season-long deal at Grace Road, Martin van Jaarsveld has signed to play for Glamorgan in the Friends Life t20 after performing well for his franchise, the Titans, in South Africa’s domestic T20 competition.
Glamorgan and England Lions all-rounder James Harris could be out for up to six more weeks after having further treatment in London on his groin injury.
Australian left-armer Mitchell Starc has signed as Yorkshire’s overseas player and is expected to join u with the squad ahead of their Championship match against Gloucestershire on 9th May.
Hampshire CCC have announced that they will name their two new stands at The Rose Bowl after two former players. Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie will take the west stand, while Shane Warne will take the east. The naming ceremony will take place during England’s opening One-Day International against the West Indies, which takes place at the ground on 16th June.
Yorkshire have released former England fast-bowler Ajmal Shahzad from his current contract with immediate effect. In a surprise move, the 26 year-old was given his marching orders earlier today with coach Martyn Moxon saying that “it has been agreed by the club and the player that it is in the player’s best interests that he pursues his career elsewhere.”
© Cricket World 2012