Lions add to county absentees

Lv County Championship

Andrew Gale

Captain Andrew Gale, one of a number on England Lions duty, will be a big loss to Yorkshire in the Roses clash against Lancashire at Old Trafford

England and England Lions' commitments leave several counties shorn of key players as the LV= County Championship resumes with seven games starting today.

In addition to their senior England players who have been absent throughout the NatWest Series, Roses rivals Lancashire and Yorkshire are without Sajid Mahmood and Andrew Gale respectively.

Gale's absence is a particular blow to Yorkshire as his leadership has made them contenders for the Division One title.

Luke Sutton retakes Lancashire's wicketkeeping gloves from Gareth Cross in the second first-class Roses clash of the season.

Cross, who is not part of head coach Peter Moores' 12-man squad, has been in possession during the Friends Provident t20 with Sutton's last senior appearance coming in Lancashire's previous championship game - the Roses draw at Headingley Carnegie.

Lancashire squad: Glen Chapple (captain), Steven Cheetham, Mark Chilton, Steven Croft, Kyle Hogg, Paul Horton, Simon Katich, Simon Kerrigan, Stephen Moore, Daren Powell, Tom Smith, Luke Sutton (wicketkeeper).

Warwickshire pair Jonathan Trott and Chris Woakes are on Lions duty along with Durham's Liam Plunkett as their counties meet at the Emirates Durham ICG.

Varun Chopra is still unavailable to Warwickshire due to a hand injury, but Ateeq Javid and Boyd Rankin come back into the team with Callum MacLeod named as 12th man. Wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose also returns to the championship side in place of Richard Johnson.

Warwickshire squad: Ian Westwood (captain), Ant Botha, Darren Maddy, Jim Troughton, Ateeq Javid, Tim Ambrose (wicketkeeper), Rikki Clarke, Neil Carter, Andrew Miller, Imran Tahir, Boyd Rankin, Calum MacLeod.

In Division Two, Lions wicketkeeper Steven Davies misses Surrey's trip to Chesterfield to take on Derbyshire due to Lions duty.

Ireland wicketkeeper Gary Wilson has been called as Davies' replacement, while there are also returns for Arun Harinath and Usman Afzaal, neither of whom have featured in the most recent run of FP t20 games.

Surrey will also be without the in-form seamer Jade Dernbach due to a side strain.

Surrey squad: Rory Hamilton-Brown (captain), Arun Harinath, Usman Afzaal, Gary Wilson (wicketkeeper), Mark Ramprakash, Younus Khan, Stewart Walters, Matthew Spriegel, Gareth Batty, Chris Tremlett, Andre Nel, Tim Linley

Leicestershire are also weakened by a Lions call-up, with batsman James Taylor missing for the game against Worcestershire at New Road.

Gloucestershire versus Middlesex at Bristol begins an hour later than the other games, at midday, due to yesterday evening's t20 clash between the sides.