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Dragons ready to unleash North

Essex CCC

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The Welsh Dragons are set to hand Marcus North his debut as they open their Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B campaign with a trip to Hampshire tomorrow.

The Australian left-hander has been named in a 14-man squad after arriving in Wales earlier this week, while former England paceman Simon Jones could also feature against his former county.

But the Dragons have been deprived of the services of Moises Henriques and Graham Wagg, who both picked up injuries during the drawn LV= County Championship Division Two match against Essex.

Hampshire have paceman Kabir Ali, fully recovered from an ankle injury, and spinner Danny Briggs back for the clash at the Ageas Bowl.

Australian Simon Katich will continue to lead the side in place of Jimmy Adams, missing due to personal problems.

Left-arm seamer Chris Wood is relishing his side’s 40-over campaign, saying: “I like bowling with the white ball and expressing my skills so it’s my favourite form of the game.

Marcus North

Australian Marcus North is set to make his Welsh Dragons debut in their Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B opener against Hampshire

“There’s more entertainment! I do like playing championship cricket but I feel, at the minute, where I am, I probably offer a bit more in the one-day form.”

Northamptonshire have named an unchanged squad for their clash with the Unicorns at Wantage Road.

In Group A, England duo Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara are both available for Essex’s visit to Leicestershire.

Head coach Paul Grayson has also included youngsters Michael Comber and Reece Topley in his party.

"Leicestershire will provide us with a difficult start, they won the Friends Life t20 last year so that are a good one-day outfit but we go there confident of doing well," Grayson said.

"We are in a tough group and it's important that we get off to a good start because we don't want to be playing catch-up as the competition progresses.”

Leicestershire are still lacking the services of captain Matthew Hoggard and batsman Will Jefferson at Grace Road, but Nathan Buck has returned to fitness.

Alex Gidman, fit-again following a back complaint, will lead Gloucestershire to Lord’s to face Middlesex, while Worcestershire welcome the Netherlands to Kidderminster following the flooding at New Road.

Nottinghamshire rest Andre Adams but have Riki Wessels back following a broken finger as they make the journey to Edinburgh to take on Scotland in the only Group C clash.

Gordon Goudie and Safyaan Sharif are absent for the hosts with cracked ribs.

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