Cricket World looks ahead to the opening round of matches in the 2013 LV= County Championship, which begin tomorrow. Champions Warwickshire host newly-promoted Derbyshire, with perhaps the match of the round being Nottinghamshire’s against Middlesex at Trent Bridge.
Fixtures: (all matches start at 1100 BST, 1000 GMT)
LV= County Championship Division One:
Durham v Somerset at Chester-le-Street
Paul Collingwood returns to captain the home side after missing the match against Durham MCCU. Mark Wood is the other name added to the eleven that were on duty against the students.
Durham squad: Paul Collingwood (captain), Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Will Smith, Dale Benkenstein, Ben Stokes, Michael Richardson, Phil Mustard, Scott Borthwick, Callum Thorp, Graham Onions, Chris Rushworth, Mark Wood.
Somerset will be without England opener Nick Compton on the orders of the ECB, while Alviro Petersen won’t arrive from South Africa until Thursday. In better news, Alfonso Thomas will feature, while the Overton twins will look to continue their remarkable rise which began last summer. The identity of the wicket-keeper is also unknown, with director of cricket Dave Nosworthy saying that a decision won’t be made until the morning of the game.
Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Arul Suppiah, Craig Kieswetter, James Hildreth, Jos Buttler, Alex Barrow, Lewis Gregory, Peter Trego, Craig Overton, Alfonso Thomas, Jamie Overton, Steve Kirby, George Dockrell.
Nottinghamshire v Middlesex at Trent Bridge
Nottinghamshire have elected to leave out Harry Gurney and Ben Phillips from their seam-attack in favour of Luke Fletcher and Andy Carter. Riki Wessels, who beat off competition from Steven Mullaney for the number six spot, said, “There are lots of guys who have played well throughout pre-season who can count themselves unlucky to be out of the side but that will keep us on our toes."
Nottinghamshire XI: Alex Hales, Ed Cowan, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Riki Wessels, Chris Read (captain), Ajmal Shahzad, Luke Fletcher, Andre Adams, Andy Carter.
The visitors have had plenty of cold weather practice ahead of the new season after spending much of March netting under a marquee on the square at Radlett CC. They have named a squad of 12 for their trip to Trent Bridge, with the final place in the eleven likely to be between off-spinner Ollie Rayner and left-arm seamer Gurjit Sandhu.
Middlesex squad: Chris Rogers (captain), Sam Robson, Joe Denly, Neil Dexter, Dawid Malan, John Simpson, Gareth Berg, Ollie Rayner, James Harris, Toby Roland-Jones, Tim Murtagh, Gurjit Sandhu.
Warwickshire v Derbyshire at Edgbaston
The defending champions have what, on paper, should be a certain win for their first match of 2013 - against newly-promoted Derbyshire at home. However, they almost suffered an embarrassing loss against Oxford MCCU at the weekend and will not be taking a Derbyshire side that often performs better than it ought lightly. Tom Milnes is rewarded for his good performance at The Parks and joins a seam attack that includes Chris Wright and Jeetan Patel but is without Keith Barker, Boyd Rankin and Chris Woakes.
Warwickshire XI: Varun Chopra, Ian Westwood, William Porterfield, Jim Troughton (captain), Laurie Evans, Tim Ambrose (captain), Rikki Clarke, Tom Milnes, Jeetan Patel, Chris Wright, Oliver Hannon-Dalby.
Derbyshire, meanwhile, boast what is one of the best overseas signing of the winter in Guyanese left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who only arrived in the UK on Saturday. Behind the stumps, Tom Poynton has been preferred to new-signing Richard Johnson. They also have a decision to make over the balance of their side. Do they include Chesney Hughes and Jonathan Clare to strengthen the batting or Mark Turner to add a bit of pace to the bowling attack?
Derbyshire squad: Wayne Madsen (captain), Billy Godleman, Chesney Hughes, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Wes Durston, Dan Redfern, Ross Whiteley, David Wainwright, Tom Poynton, Jonathan Clare, Tony Palladino, Tim Groenewald, Mark Turner.
Yorkshire v Sussex at Headingley
The hosts have left out Joe Sayers from the side that beat Leeds/Bradford MCCU, with Adil Rashid, Phil Jaques and Moin Ashraf added to the eleven that featured. Jaques is likely to be straight swap in the eleven for Sayers, with Lees looking set for a Championship debut off the back of his second innings century at the weekend. Steve Patterson and Moin Ashraf will contest the final seam-bowling spot.
Yorkshire squad: Andrew Gale (captain), Adam Lyth, Alex Lees, Phil Jaques, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Azeem Rafiq, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Jack Brooks, Moin Ashraf, Steven Patterson, Adil Rashid.
Monty Panesar returns to the Sussex squad after his winter with England. Leg-spinner Will Beer was not considered for selection due to ankle and hamstring injuries, while seamer Lewis Hatchett has recovered from a knee injury but wasn’t picked in the 13-strong party.
Sussed squad: Ed Joyce (captain), Chris Nash, Luke Wells, Joe Gatting, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Michael Yardy, Ben Brown, Steve Magoffin, Chris Jordan, James Anyon, Monty Panesar, Chris Liddle, Andy Miller.
Continue to page two for Division Two previews...