With many of England's county cricketers now heading home from their off-season destinations in time for Christmas, we take our monthly look at how they have been performing for their franchises or states so far in the 2011-12 season.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has extended his contract with Surrey until the end of his international career.
Pietersen, who first signed for the club on a one-year deal in 2011 following a loan spell in 2010, will play for the Brown Caps until he no longer has an ECB Central Contract.
Middlesex wicket-keeper Adam Rossington and Hampshire seam bowler James Tomlinson have both signed contract extensions with their respective counties.
Rossington, an 18 year-old who has represented Englandâ€™s Under-19 side, has extended his existing contract by one year to the end of 2013, while Tomlinson has also signed until the end of the 2013 season.
Somerset have tentatively announced that they have secured the services of South African all-rounder Vernon Philander as their overseas player for the first two months of the 2012 season. Philander's availability is dependent on him not being selected to play in the Indian Premier League.
Worcestershire have signed struggling Australian Test opener Phil Hughes as their overseas player for the second half of the 2012 season. The deal is expected to begin after the conclusion of the group stage of the Friends Life t20.
The 23 year-old was recently recalled to Australia's Test side as part of a new-look opening partnership but has since struggled against South Africa and New Zealand as his fondness for the cut shot has led him into trouble on numerous occasions.
Zimbabwe's domestic Twenty 20 competition, the Stanbic Bank T20, came to its conclusion at the weekend with the Mountaineers franchise ending up as the overall victors and Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego was named as Player of the Tournament.
James Taylor has officially joined Nottinghamshire on a three-year contract as county cricket's worst kept secret was finally confirmed this afternoon.
It had been known for some time that the 21-year-old had wanted to leave struggling Leicestershire in order to further his international ambitions, and he had already been the subject of an audacious approach from Warwickshire in the middle of last season that was rebuffed by the Foxes.
The county season will get underway earlier than ever in 2012, with the traditional Champion County curtain-raiser scheduled to begin on 27th March in Abu Dhabi, and the first of the university fixtures set to kick off on 31st March.