Essex minus Masters
Essex are without influential seamer David Masters for their LV= County Championship Division Two game with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, starting tomorrow.
Masters, who turns 35 on Monday and has exceeded 50 first-class wickets for the last three seasons, has suffered a side strain.
He will be replaced by either fellow seamer Reece Topley or leg-spinner Tom Craddock, who are named in a squad alongside the other 10 players that drew with Gloucestershire last week.
Essex head coach Paul Grayson said: "We'll be without Dave Masters, who has a side strain but it's not a tear, and by leaving him out against Northamptonshire it gives him a couple of weeks to recover before we play Hampshire in our next home game, which is followed by Lancashire at Old Trafford.
"We are looking forward to the Northamptonshire match and it's good to be able to get Reece back into the squad as well. We need good back-up players and competition for places so it's good to be able to bring a quality bowler into the squad.
“Sajid Mahmood is unlucky that he hasn't got the nod but we felt that, like for like, Reece would give us similar qualities to that offered by David Masters. He got wickets last week in the second team match versus Derbyshire; he's fresh and ready to go."
Essex are still without rested England captain Alastair Cook while Ryan ten Doeschate and Owais Shah are at the Indian Premier League.
Northants are set to name the XI that had much the better of last week’s draw with Glamorgan. This would mean seamer Lee Daggett again missing out.
Fresh from their rain-aided escape versus Hampshire, Leicestershire have been forced into making one change to their squad to face Kent at Grace Road.
Robbie Williams, signed on a one-year deal following a successful trial at the end of last season, replaces injured fellow seamer Alex Wyatt in an otherwise unchanged party. Wyatt’s shoulder problem sees him join Nathan Buck (ankle) and Anthony Ireland (side strain) on the sidelines.
Having followed on 311 behind at the Ageas Bowl, Leicestershire looked set for defeat but Ned Eckersley’s unbeaten 99 and a last-day washout saved them.
Ahead of this week’s game, Leicestershire head coach Phil Whitticase said: "We wanted to be positive in the second innings and Ned was exceptional; he was the rock and there were some good partnerships throughout the third day. There's no doubt those battling qualities will be needed throughout the season."
Given the injuries to Buck and Ireland, seamer Ollie Freckingham made his senior debut and impressed Whitticase.
"Ollie came into the side a little earlier than he may have expected but he gives us pace and will now have the nerves out of his system,” he said.
“You could see in his bowling performance on day two that the nerves had gone. It is now a case of building on that performance and being consistent in terms of length."
Kent captain James Tredwell is set to lead for the first time in the championship since succeeding Rob Key over the winter. Their squad includes newly-signed all-rounder Calum Haggett. Last week Kent were involved in a rain-ruined draw with Cardiff MCCU.
Worcestershire have made one change to their squad for the visit to Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.
Seamer David Lucas is added to the party that drew with Lancashire at Old Trafford. All-rounder Aneesh Kapil, who missed last week’s match with a disc problem, is still absent.
Glamorgan have named the squad that played out a stalemate against Northants.