Tremlett back from injury
England and Surrey fast bowler Chris Tremlett could make his competitive return from almost five months out with a back injury in this evening’s Friends Life t20 South Group game against Middlesex at Lord’s.
Tremlett’s last competitive appearance was in January’s first Test versus Pakistan at Dubai. A week after that match he was ruled out of the tour by a recurrence of a lower back injury and underwent surgery in February.
The 30-year-old has stepped up his comeback in three Twenty20s for Surrey 2nd XI this month and may replace Jade Dernbach, who has joined England’s NatWest Series squad at the Ageas Bowl.
Batsman Tom Maynard is included in Surrey’s party after recovering from a shoulder injury that ruled him out of yesterday’s victory over Essex at the Kia Oval.
Dernbach’s England team-mates Eoin Morgan and Steven Finn are unavailable to Middlesex.
The hosts are also missing seamer Robbie Williams, who suffered a broken collarbone in yesterday’s defeat to West Indies at Lord’s.
The Panthers have only one overseas player, Australian Chris Rogers, after Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga pulled out of a move to Lord's for the competition due to fatigue.
Despite losing one of the world’s leading bowlers, managing director of cricket Angus Fraser told Middlesex’s website: “I still expect us to be competitive in our group.
"The tournament will give myself and my coaches a better idea of what some of our players are capable of and how they handle playing in front of good crowds.”
Lancashire are missing Ajmal Shahzad for their North Group opener with hosts Derbyshire at the County Ground.
The England seam bowling all-rounder, who is on loan from Yorkshire for the rest of the season, has a mild stomach strain and will undergo a fitness test prior to tomorrow’s game with Leicestershire. Paceman James Anderson, part of the England squad, is unavailable for both matches.
Shahzad’s absence is offset by the return from injury of another all-rounder, Tom Smith, who has recovered from a hamstring problem. He is set to feature alongside Pakistan's Yasir Arafat, who will make his Lancashire debut.
Derbyshire have overseas duo Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Usman Khawaja available.
Khawaja has replaced Martin Guptill - who has joined up with New Zealand ahead of their tour of West Indies - as the county’s main overseas player, while Rana is available only in the shortest format.
Northamptonshire will have Cameron White at their disposal against the Welsh Dragons at Wantage Road in the Midlands/Wales/West Group.
The Australian is one of several high-profile overseas stars participating in this year’s competition and will be aiming to build on a solid showing in the Indian Premier League.
Northants can call on captain Andrew Hall, an all-rounder, and spinner Con de Lange, who has recovered from a back injury. Rob Newton is set to return at the top of the order.
The Dragons are set to include overseas pair Shaun Marsh and Marcus North under the captaincy of fellow Australian Jim Allenby.
Returning to the South Group, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is line for his Hampshire bow against Sussex while Neil McKenzie, back for a third spell, will be available at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Sussex have named an unchanged squad from Tuesday's washout with Kent at Canterbury, meaning they are again minus England Test wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Overseas signings Juan Theron and Scott Styris are set to make their Sharks FLt20 debuts.
Jos Buttler will keep wicket for Somerset against Gloucestershire at Bristol after Craig Kieswetter went on England duty.
Kieswetter played in yesterday’s defeat of Warwickshire at Taunton and will be replaced by one of James Hildreth, Craig Meschede or Arul Suppiah. Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick is still recovering from an ankle operation.
Legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is set to feature, having rejoined Gloucestershire for a second successive FLt20 campaign. Hamish Marshall, who was this week made captain for the competition, will lead the Gladiators.