2007 season preview
The 2007 domestic season has almost crept up upon us unnoticed.
While the World Cup continues to occupy the thoughts of the international sides, though, counties have been back in pre-season training for some time.
Hope springs eternal ahead of what promises to be another keenly-contested summer, especially in the rebranded LV County Championship.
Sussex are out to defend their Division One title and the Friends Provident Trophy, Essex go into the 2007 season as reigning NatWest Pro40 champions, and Leicestershire are keen to underline their status as the most successful side in the brief history of the Twenty20 Cup.
Here, ecb.co.uk reveals what the counties had to say as they put the finishing touches to their pre-season preparations.
Coach Dave Houghton expects to see the best of Boyd Rankin when he returns from World Cup duty with Ireland.
Having survived relegation from the championship by the slenderest of margins last season, Durham - and new head coach Geoff Cook, in particular - are keen to avoid a repeat.
All-rounder Graham Napier is confident an Essex side that have lost Darren Gough can better last year's triumph of winning the NatWest Pro40. He claims a title assault on four fronts is possible.
Hampshire are hoping to benefit from Stuart Clark's lack of World Cup action, according to director of cricket Tim Tremlett, who claims the Australia seamer has spent much of his time in the West Indies "twiddling his thumbs".
Coach Graham Ford is keen to consign mid-table mediocrity to the past as Kent chase silverware.
Luke Sutton is confident he can handle the toughest challenge of his career - keeping to the magical Muttiah Muralitharan.
"I want to be double the player I am now." Teenager Dawid Malan makes no secret of where his ambitions lie as he sets out to earn a regular spot in the Middlesex 1st XI.
Niall O'Brien will return from World Cup duty with Ireland having taken his game to a new level, according to Northants coach David Capel.
A new county and a winter spent at the ECB National Cricket Centre have made Will Jefferson into a more complete person both on and off the field of play.
Director of cricket Brian Rose thinks brighter times lie ahead for Somerset under the leadership of Australian Justin Langer.
2006 may have been the finest summer of Mark Ramprakash's career, but the ex-England batsman is eager to show that he is not finished yet as he enters the 2007 season.
With the glories of 2006 a distant memory, Robin Martin-Jenkins is anxious to ensure the champagne is still flowing for Sussex at the conclusion of this year.
Ashley Giles is set on achieving a recall to the England squad, but is also keen to help Warwickshire win at least one trophy.
Director of cricket Steve Rhodes believes Kabir Ali could be back to his best after watching him bowling during pre-season training.
Martyn Moxon outlines his plans to turn Yorkshire's fortunes around ahead of his first season as director of cricket at Headingley.
Player ins and outs:
Roll of Honour - Winners in 2006
- Liverpool Victoria County Championship Division One - Sussex
- Liverpool Victoria Championship Division Two - Surrey
- NatWest Pro40 Division One - Essex Eagles
- NatWest Pro40 Division Two - Gloucestershire Gladiators
- Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy - Sussex
- Twenty20 Cup - Leicestershire Foxes