Essex's two IPL-contracted players, Ryan ten Doeschate and Owais Shah, have signed new deals with the club for the 2013 season. Shah's is a one-year deal, while ten Doeschate has penned a two-year deal.
According to Essex CCC, "Shah has signed a one-year contract which begins at the end of his 2013 Indian Premier League tournament with Rajasthan Royals, until the end of the forthcoming season."
Surrey have pulled off their second significant overseas signing of the winter. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who retired from international cricket at the end of 2012, will stand-in for Graeme Smith when he is representing South Africa in the Champions Trophy in June and July.
Cameron White has re-signed as Northamptonshire's overseas player for the 2013 Friends Life t20. The Australian represented the Steelbacks last season and was the sole positive in an otherwise disappointing campaign, hitting 262 runs in nine matches at an average of 57.
Yorkshire Bank has taken over title sponsorship of England's domestic 40-over competition, which will henceforth be known as the YB40.
Parent company Clydesdale Bank has been supporting the England and Wales Cricket Board since 2005 and was the 40-over title sponsor from 2010.
Nottinghamshire have signed long-time overseas player David Hussey for part of the 2013 season. Hussey will link up with the club following the end of the Champions Trophy and will be available from then on for all but the final month of the season.
Essex have signed Australia top-order batsman Rob Quiney as their overseas player for at least the first half of the 2013 county season. Quiney has initially signed until the of the Friends Life t20, but could be available for longer if he doesn't make Australia's Ashes squad.
Durham have terminated the contract of all-rounder Ian Blackwell according to a report on ESPNcricinfo.
The 34 year-old had a year left on his contract at Durham, but featured in only one first-team game for them after the end of May. He spent the final few weeks of the season on-loan at Warwickshire and was part of the side that clinched the LV= County Championship title and finished as runner-up in the Clydesdale Bank 40.
Mark Ramprakash, Robert Croft and Mike Denness have been honoured in the New Year Honours list. Ramprakash and Croft, who both retired from first-class cricket in 2012 and have since moved into coaching, were awarded MBEs, while Denness was given an OBE.