Shahzad set for comeback
England fast bowler Ajmal Shahzad could return from injury in Yorkshire’s Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A game with the Netherlands at Headingley Carnegie.
Shahzad was forced to return home early from the World Cup last month with the recurrence of a hamstring problem but, as long as he comes through a Yorkshire Academy match today with no adverse effects, is set to face the Dutch in the opening round of CB40 ties.
Yorkshire are still without fellow England seamer Tim Bresnan, like many of his international team-mates being rested after a gruelling winter.
Paceman Steven Finn is one England player available to his county, Middlesex, for their Group A trip to take on Worcestershire at New Road. However, the Panthers are missing Andrew Strauss and Eoin Morgan, who is playing in the Indian Premier League.
Hampshire welcome back fit-again Simon Jones for their Group B contest with holders Warwickshire at the Rose Bowl.
The former England seamer suffered a groin strain during the LV= County Championship draw with Durham and missed last week’s defeat by Nottinghamshire in the same competition.
Michael Bates continues to deputise behind the stumps for Nic Pothas, who has a calf injury. Hampshire’s overseas player Imran Tahir, the leg-spinner who helped Warwickshire lift the CB40 trophy last year, is yet to be available to the Royals.
The Bears are missing all-rounder Neil Carter, who has a stress fracture of the pelvis, and England batsmen Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott.
Also in Group B, Durham are set to be without fast bowlers Steve Harmison, Liam Plunkett and Mark Davies against Scotland at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Harmison has a fractured arm, Plunkett a thigh injury and Davies a foot problem - but fellow seamer Graham Onions could return after being rested for the championship game with Sussex.
Paul Collingwood and Mark Stoneman continue to recover from knee surgery and a broken hand respectively, while fellow batsman Michael Di Venuto is a doubt having suffered a back spasm in the defeat to Sussex.
Durham will be led by Dale Benkenstein, but four-day skipper Phil Mustard could miss out once again with a toe injury.
The visitors have included young Middlesex prospect Josh Davey after Cricket Scotland came to an agreement with the county. Tasmanian Luke Butterworth is expected to make his CB40 debut, but Calvin Burnett drops out.
In tomorrow’s other Group B game Northamptonshire are set to give a CB40 debut to Chaminda Vaas at Wantage Road against Leicestershire, for whom opening batsman Will Jefferson may be a concern with a thigh injury.
Seamer Andre Adams is missing for Nottinghamshire in the Group C clash with last season’s runners-up Somerset at Trent Bridge.
Adams suffered a groin strain in the astonishing championship win over Yorkshire, preventing him from bowling in the second innings.
Fellow pace bowlers Darren Pattinson and Andy Carter are also carrying minor injuries and Charlie Shreck is rested, while England bowlers Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann are unavailable.
Somerset are set to give a CB40 debut to all-rounder Lewis Gregory.
Lancashire’s Sri Lankan all-rounder Farveez Maharoof is expected to make his CB40 bow as the Red Rose host the Unicorns at Old Trafford, but James Anderson is missing.
The Unicorns can now call on Chris Benham and Michael Thornely, released by Hampshire and Sussex respectively last season.
In the other Group C contest Gloucestershire are without Chris Dent against Glamorgan at Bristol.
Dent has a broken finger but fellow batsman Hamish Marshall is named in a squad that features spin bowling coach Richard Dawson.
Jim Allenby is still missing for Glamorgan, for whom new skipper Alviro Petersen is set to make his first appearance in the CB40.