The final round of the LV= County Championship is set to get underway tomorrow to bring the 2013 season to a close. The main interest will be at Trent Bridge, where both sides know that a draw should be enough to save them from relegation. Will the two teams engineer something with that in mind? Of course, events there will be immaterial unless Derbyshire can beat Warwickshire.
In Division Two, Northamptonshire need just five points to guarantee promotion, with Essex aiming for a 24-point win and a slip-up from them at New Road.
Derbyshire v Warwickshire at Derby
The hosts are boosted by the return of Chesney Hughes from paternity leave and by the news that Richard Johnson has been passed fit after sustaining a hand injury against Durham.
Derbyshire squad: Paul Borrington, Chesney Hughes, Wayne Madsen (captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Richard Johnson, Alex Hughes, Tom Poynton, David Wainwright, Tony Palladino, Tim Groenewald, Mark Footitt, Mark Turner, Peter Burgoyne, Ben Slater.
The Bears have been forced to include yet another different wicket-keeper in their squad for the final match of the season after short-term signing Jamie Atkinson was injured during the game against Surrey. They have included Ireland gloveman Stuart Poynter in a 13-man squad.
Warwickshire squad: Varun Chopra (captain), Ian Westwood, Ateeq Javid, Laurie Evans, Rikkie Clarke, Chris Woakes, Keith Barker, Stuart Poynter, Jeetan Patel, Maurice Chambers, Boyd Rankin, Recardo Gordon, William Porterfield.
Nottinghamshire v Somerset at Trent Bridge
The hosts will hope to gain momentum from their Yorkshire Bank 40 triumph on Saturday and have added seam-bowler Brett Hutton and Alex Hales to the eleven that lost to champions Durham last week.
Nottinghamshire squad: Steven Mullaney, Riki Wessels, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, David Hussey, Chris Read (captain), Paul Franks, Luke Fletcher, Andre Adams, Harry Gurney, Brett Hutton, Alex Hales.
Somerset welcome back Jos Buttler and Jamie Overton from ODI duty with England but are without overseas player Piyush Chawla, who has returned to India to play in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy.
Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Chris Jones, Nick Compton, James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter, Jos Buttler, Peter Trego, Craig Meschede, Alfonso Thomas, George Dockrell, Jamie Overton, Lewis Gregory, Alex Barrow.
Surrey v Yorkshire at The Oval
Surrey are without Stuart Meaker, Jade Dernbach and George Edwards due to injury as they aim for the win that could left them off the foot of the table. Fast-bowler Matt Dunn, all-rounder Tom Jewell and batsman Jason Roy are included in a 13-man squad.
Surrey squad: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Hashim Amla, Vikram Solanki, Steven Davies, Gary Wilson, Zafar Ansari, Gareth Batty (captain), Chris Tremlett, Tim Linley, Matt Dunn, Tom Jewell, Jason Roy.
Yorkshire cannot finish anywhere other than second in the table and have added 17 year-old left-arm spinner Karl Carver to their squad. Carver is not expected to start, but has been rewarded for excellent performances for the Academy and second XI.
Yorkshire squad: Adam Lyth, Phil Jaques, Kane Williamson, Andrew Gale (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Steven Patterson, Jack Brooks, Alex Lees, Karl Carver, Richard Pyrah.
Sussex v Durham at Hove
Sussex know that a win over the newly-crowned champions will see them overhaul Middlesex into third.
Matt Prior is a doubt for for them as he has been struggling for the past couple of days with an illness. Luke Wright and Chris Jordan return from England duty, while Matt Machan returns from a back injury. Andrew Miller replaces Lewis Hatchett in a 14-man squad.
Sussex squad: Chris Nash, Luke Wells, Michael Yardy, Ed Joyce (captain), Matt Prior, Luke Wright, Ben Brown, Chris Jordan, Ashar Zaidi, Steve Magoffin, James Anyon, Andrew Miller, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Matt Machan.
Durham, meanwhile, will be aiming for another win; one that would see them become the first county to win 11 games in a season since the competition split into two divisions.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Will Smith, Ben Stokes, Paul Collingwood (captain), Phil Mustard, Michael Richardson, Jamie Harrison, Graham Onions, Chris Rushworth, Usman Arshad, Ryan Buckely.
Glamorgan v Gloucestershire at Cardiff
Glamorgan have named Graham Wagg in their 13-man squad at the expense of John Glover.
Glamorgan squad: Gareth Rees, Will Bragg, Murray Goodwin, Ben Wright, Chris Cooke, Jim Allenby, Mark Wallace (captain), Andrew Salter, Graham Wagg, Dean Cosker, Michael Hogan, Ruaidhri Smith, David Lloyd.
Hampshire v Essex at Southampton
Hampshire are likely to replace Sean Terry with Michael Carberry at the top of the order as the latter returns from international duty.
Hampshire squad: Jimmy Adams (captain), Michael Carberry, Liam Dawson, James Vince, Sean Ervine, Adam Wheater, Michael Bates, Matt Coles, Danny Briggs, James Tomlinson, Ruel Brathwaite, Sean Terry.
Essex are without the recently-retired Owais Shah and all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate for their match at Southampton. Ravi Bopara, David Masters and Reece Topley have been rested, despite Essex still having a slim chance at promotion. Tom Westley returns from a finger injury, with 19 year-old all-rounder Kishen Velani also included.
Essex XI: Jaik Mickleburgh, Gautam Gambhir, Tom Westley, Greg Smith, Ben Foakes, James Foster (captain), Kishen Velani, Graham Napier, Sajid Mahmood, Monty Panesar, Tymal Mills.
Kent v Lancashire at Canterbury
Charlie Shreck has made way for new signing Matt Hunn (see News In Brief) in Kent’s 12-man squad, with Sam Billings again preferred to Geraint Jones.
Kent squad: Rob Key, Sam Northeast, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Brendan Nash, Ben Harmison, Darren Stevens, Sam Billings, James Tredwell (captain), Adam Ball, Mark Davies, Matt Hunn, Adam Riley.
Paul Horton leads a Lancashire side that is without a couple of first-choice players. Opening bowlers Glen Chapple and Kyle Hogg are both missing, with Kyle Jarvis in line for a first-team debut.
Lancashire squad: Paul Horton (captain), Luis Reece, Ashwell Prince, Karl Brown, Luke Procter, Tom Smith, Andrea Agathangelou, Alex Davies, Oliver Newby, Simon Kerrigan, Kyle Jarvis, Stephen Parry, Jordan Clark.
Worcestershire v Northamptonshire at New Road
David Willey, Graeme White and Luke Evans have been named in Northamptonshire’s squad as they aim to secure promotion. Lee Daggett misses out in what would have been his final game for the county.
Northamptonshire squad: Stephen Peters (captain), James Middlebrook, David Sales, Alex Wakely, Rob Keogh, Andrew Hall, David Willey, Steven Crook, David Murphy, Luke Evans, Mohammad Azharullah, Graeme White, Matthew Spriegel.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will begin overcast, especially in the east, but the cloud should clear gradually during the day. Temperatures will peak at between 19 and 21 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Simon Jones has spoken of his desire to play in Twenty20 leagues all over the world now that his full-time career in over. He is also eyeing a T20 deal with Glamorgan for 2014 but told BBC Radio Wales Sport show that he looks to play worldwide.
“Basically [I'm] looking at the Big Bash and the IPL, but they usually target international players....you never say never and I will put my name in the hat and see how it goes," Jones said. "There are plenty of opportunities on the road with the West Indian one, the Bangladeshi IPL [sic] and there is an IPL [sic] in New Zealand, so there is plenty of options."
Kent have signed second-team fast-bowlers Charlie Hartley and Matt Hunn until the end of the 2014 season. Hunn is likely to play against Lancashire tomorrow and has previously played for Suffolk and Essex second XI, while Hartley attended Millfield School and previously played for Somerset Under-17s.
Essex coach Paul Grayson has confirmed to BBC Essex that batsman Owais Shah has retired from County Championship cricket in order to focus on 50-over and 20-over commitments. He added that the club were hopeful of securing his future at Chelmsford to play in those formats in 2014.
Lancashire have announced that wicket-keeper Gareth Cross will not be offered a new contract as they look for more runs from their gloveman. The club are favourites to sign Somerset and England wicket-keeper Jos Buttler and currently have former England Under-19 player Alex Davies in their ranks. Davies has displaced Cross in the first eleven for recent matches.
Yorkshire have appointed former spinner Ian Fisher and 23 year-old Blaine Clancy as their new strength and conditioning coaches from November 2013. Tom Summers, who currently holds the role, is moving to Hong Kong.
Leicestershire player of the year Ned Eckersley and the club’s limited-overs captain Josh Cobb were arrested in the early hours of 1st September for being drunk and disorderly it has emerged. They were released on bail pending further enquiries. Chief executive Mike Siddall told ESPNcricinfo: “We have dealt with the matter internally and will not be making any statement.”
© Cricket World 2013