Imports set for championship duty
Warwickshire, Lancashire, Middlesex and Essex are boosted by the likely presence of their overseas players as the LV= County Championship enters its third week tomorrow.
Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf, a late replacement for compatriot Younus Khan, is expected to feature for Warwickshire in the Division One match against Worcestershire at New Road, having linked up with his new team-mates midway through last week’s crushing innings-and-382-run win over Somerset.
Lancashire can call upon Sri Lanka all-rounder Farveez Maharoof for the meeting with Somerset at Liverpool.
He too arrived in England last week, although it remains to be seen how he is accommodated in a side that beat Sussex so convincingly in the first round of games.
In Division Two, Chris Rogers, Middlesex’s Australian import, has been passed fit to face Derbyshire, the club from whom he joined over the winter.
The left-handed opener did not bat in the second innings of Middlesex’s win over Essex last week due to a finger injury sustained in the field, but he has been included in a 12-man squad that also features Corey Collymore, who complained of cramp against Essex.
Rogers’ return to Derby is one of a clutch of intriguing sub-plots this week, most notably Ryan Sidebottom lining up for Yorkshire against Nottinghamshire at Headingley Carnegie following his winter move from the champions.
Tom Maynard is another who will be able to reacquaint himself with his old team-mates as Glamorgan entertain Surrey. The left-hander quit the SWALEC Stadium in January, two months after father Matthew stood down as director of cricket.
Surrey welcome back Jade Dernbach, who missed the drawn championship opener with a calf strain, but Mark Ramprakash continues his recovery from winter knee surgery.
Professional cricket manager Chris Adams said: "There were some very promising early signs. Whilst a draw is better than our first game in previous seasons, it was still a game I felt we should have won.
"With that in mind, we are looking forward to the challenges we face this week with our aim firmly fixed on achieving a positive result."
Division One leaders Durham may rest Graham Onions against Sussex at the Emirates Durham ICG despite his starring role in last week’s victory over Yorkshire last week.
The England pace bowler marked his return after a 15-month layoff with back trouble by taking five first-innings wickets at Headingley, but coach Geoff Cook has concerns over his ability to play two games in two weeks.
Dale Benkenstein retains the captaincy given Phil Mustard's continued absence with a toe injury, while Steve Harmison (fractured arm), Liam Plunkett (thigh) and Mark Stoneman (broken hand) are also missing. Mark Davies remains sidelined by a foot problem.
Sussex are also without their skipper, Michael Yardy, who is receiving treatment for depression. Murray Goodwin leads the side in his stead.
Andrew Hodd returns after scoring twin centuries for the second XI this week, but Luke Wright and Lewis Hatchett remain sidelined with knee and hamstring injuries respectively.
Although Owais Shah and Ryan ten Doeschate remain on IPL duty, Essex can include South Africa left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe in their side against Northamptonshire after visa problems delayed his arrival.
England batsmen Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara are once again available for the trip to Wantage Road.