Guy on standby for depleted Yorkshire
Wicketkeeper Simon Guy could be set for a surprise recall to Yorkshire’s team when they take on high-flying Roses rivals Lancashire in Division One of the LV= County Championship.
With Jonathan Bairstow on England Lions duty and Gerard Brophy struggling with a bruised and swollen thumb, Guy, who was released by Yorkshire at the end of the 2009 season and has not played a first-class match since 2007, has been included in a 13-man squad for the trip to Liverpool.
The 32-year-old currently serves as the professional for Marske in the North Yorkshire and South Durham Cricket League and has been called up ahead of youngsters Barney Gibson and Ed Wilson.
Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale confirmed: “We’re going to take Simon Guy over. Barney Gibson and Ed Wilson have done ok, but they have only played a handful of second-team games between them and are only 15 or 16 years old.
“To throw them into a Roses match would be a bit harsh on them and I think they both have exams this week as well.”
Brophy has also travelled with the squad and faces a late fitness test ahead of the game.
Yorkshire’s squad has been weakened further by the absence of Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan.
Shahzad, like Bairstow, will feature for England Lions against Sri Lanka this week, while Bresnan has been ruled out with a torn calf muscle and joins Richard Pyrah and Anthony McGrath on the sidelines.
Second-placed Lancashire have no such problems and will once again be able to call on the services of England paceman James Anderson.
“I remember one of my first games for Lancashire was a Roses match, and they’re great games to play in,” Anderson told Lancashire’s official website.
Durham welcome back talismanic paceman Steve Harmison for their match against Worcestershire at New Road.
Harmison is available once again after recovering from a fractured forearm, sustained in the club’s opening game against Hampshire last month.
Michael Di Venuto and Ian Blackwell return after missing the Clydesdale Bank 40 victories over Hampshire and Scotland, while Ruel Brathwaite has got the nod over Mitchell Claydon.
Durham Academy product Ben Raine, who has yet to make his first-class debut, and experienced all-rounder Gareth Breese have also been named in a 13-man squad.
Leg-spinner Max Waller is expected to play in his first championship match of the season when Somerset travel to Hove to take on Sussex.
Waller is likely to come in for James Hildreth, who will captain England Lions in their fixture at Derby, in the only change to the side that drew with Durham last week.
Craig Kieswetter continues to be sidelined by a thigh injury, so Jos Buttler will again keep wicket.
Sussex are without Luke Wright, who has a knee injury, and the ill Joe Gatting, but Ollie Rayner is included in the squad after returning from a loan spell at Middlesex.
Elsewhere in Division One, leaders Nottinghamshire host third-placed Warwickshire at Trent Bridge.
In Division Two, Leicestershire are hoping to field overseas signing Andrew McDonald for the first time this year in their home match against Gloucestershire.
Australian all-rounder McDonald is flying into England today following an Indian Premier League stint with the Delhi Daredevils and his arrival could be a timely one as star batsman James Taylor is another player on Lions duty this week.
Kadeer Ali could make his first-class debut for Leicestershire after impressing in the CB40 defeat to Warwickshire on Sunday, while Matthew Hoggard, Nathan Buck and Nadeem Malik are all available after sitting out that fixture.
Gloucestershire will hand late fitness tests to Jon Lewis and Ian Saxelby, who are battling respective heel and elbow injuries, while young seamer Liam Norwell misses out with a side strain.
David Payne is also unavailable as he rests a series of minor niggles, so spinners Vikram Banerjee and Ed Young are both in contention to feature, along with Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien.
Surrey have named England batsman Kevin Pietersen in their squad to face Essex, but will be without Lions paceman Jade Dernbach.
Pietersen’s inclusion means Tom Maynard will move up to open the batting alongside Rory Hamilton-Brown, with Jason Roy missing out.
Essex, who lose Ravi Bopara to the Lions, have opted to exclude overseas player Lonwabo Tsotsobe from their 12-man squad.
“He’s just not bowling well enough,” head coach Paul Grayson explained on the club’s official website. “The simple fact is that we haven’t seen enough from him in championship cricket and the decision comes down purely to form.
“Whether you are an overseas player or not, it doesn’t really matter, if you are not performing then changes have to be made.”
Graham Napier and Maurice Chambers are both included after recovering from their respective injury problems.