Captain: Tom Westley
Overseas player: Simon Harmer (South Africa), Beau Webster (Australia)
2022 finish: Sixth (Group B)
2022 leading run scorer: Grant Roelofsen (355)
2022 leading wicket taker: Shane Snater (14)
Key player: It may be an obvious thing to say but the availability of Simon Harmer again this year could shape Essex’s campaign. Not only with his mesmerising off-spin bowling, and on occasion some big hitting with the bat, but as an important uncle figure for the young players making baby steps in the first team.
Young Player to watch: Noah Thain - Josh Rymell, Robin Das, Jamal Richards and Luc Benkenstein have all benefited from exposure to the first-team environment in the One-Day Cup and turned in some eye-catching performances. Next cab off the rank could be 18-year-old Thain, who premiered his promise with 36 off 27 balls, including three sixes and a strike-rate of 133, against Ireland in May.
Final thought: Last year’s One-Day Cup heralded a renaissance in Tom Westley’s form. Two centuries and two fifties in seven innings were the preface to a 2023 red-ball campaign in which the captain has already hit in excess of 900 runs. It is not only the youngsters who benefit from the 50-over competition.
Captain: Nick Gubbins
Overseas players: N/A
2022 finish: Semi-finalists
2022 leading runscorer: Tom Prest (402)
2022 leading wicket taker: John Turner (20)
Key player: Tom Prest - It is hard to believe the right-handed batter, and occasional offie, is still only 20, such is his maturity and experience. Over 400 runs last year, he has all the attributes, swagger, and aesthetics to be James Vince’s talismanic successor. He missed much of the Vitality Blast after breaking his foot so will be making up for lost runs in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup.
Young Player to watch: Eddie Jack - A bustling quick bowler who is already noted by England scouts as a potential future international. The 17-year-old has already impressed for England Under 19s and will turn heads with his pace. There is also plenty of excitement around Dom Kelly. The all-rounder made his debut in last year’s competition as a 16-year-old and is likened to Chris Woakes.
Final thought: Hampshire got ‘Darren Stevens-ed’ in the semi-final last year after everything in the group stage had pointed towards a white-ball double. This year they have largely the same XI, and are undoubtably among the heavy favourites. They boasted three of the top seven wicket-takers in 2022 and expect a similar stat this season, while Gubbins, Prest, Ben Brown, Aneurin Donald, Toby Albert, Fletcha Middleton and Ian Holland form a gluttonous batting card.
Captain: Joe Denly
Overseas players: James Bazley (Australia)
2022 finish: Winners
2022 leading run scorer: Ollie Robinson (534)
2022 leading wicket taker: Hamid Qadri (15)
Key player: Harry Finch - Handed a two-year deal ahead of the 2023 season, Finch has been making the most of his second chance in professional cricket and has all the attributes needed to thrive in the 50-over format. It wasn’t a coincidence that after Finch was handed a short-term deal last year, Kent began their improbable run to the final.
Young player to watch: Arafat Bhuiyan – At the age of 26 he may be middle-aged in cricketing terms, but the Dhaka-born fast-medium bowler only broke into the red-ball side earlier this season after six seasons hovering around the 2nd XI circuit. Honed by the South Asian Cricket Academy, he took four for 78 against Surrey and may finally get his chance to shine.
Final thought: Kent’s victory in 2022 was a wonderful surprise. Abject in this competition in 2021, they seemed to be permanently on the brink of elimination last year, but Grant Stewart’s last-ball six against Yorkshire kept them alive and they were rewarded for the courageous decision to stick with the players who got them to final, when they beat a full-strength Lancashire.
Captain: Keaton Jennings
Overseas player: Dane Vilas (South Africa)
2022 finish: Runners-up
2022 leading runscorer: Keaton Jennings (390)
2022 leading wicket taker: Liam Hurt (15)
Key player: Liam Hurt and Danny Lamb shared 29 wickets in last season’s One-Day Cup. But Hurt was released last the winter and Lamb is heading to Sussex this winter. It’s unclear how much Lamb will play. Others will need to step up, including in-form seamer Tom Bailey, who claimed 12 50-over wickets last year. He has enjoyed superb Championship form in 2023.
Young Player to watch: Tom Aspinwall – The 19-year-old is a seam bowling all-rounder who was part of the England Under 19s run to the World Cup final in February of last year. Yet to make his first-team debut but is likely to get game time after some superb recent second-team form.
Final thought: Lancashire have to be one of the favourites for this competition, despite losing seven players to The Hundred. They have the depth and quality to go one step further than last season’s final defeat at Kent. With no trophies in the Vitality Blast and almost certainly the Championship this year, this is a hugely important competition for the county.
Captain: Lewis Hill
Overseas players: Peter Handscomb (Australia), Wiaan Mulder (South Africa)
2022 finish: Quarter-final
2022 leading runscorer: Wiaan Mulder (533)
2022 leading wicket taker: Chris Wright, Beuran Hendricks (17 each)
Key player: Rishi Patel - Leicestershire’s top scorer in both red-ball and T20 cricket this summer, with four Championship hundreds and another in the Vitality Blast and his contribution is likely to be key. The 24-year-old former Essex batter has probably done enough already to land the county’s player-of-the-year award, but if he can produce that form in this competition as well it will be a formality.
Young Player to watch: Josh Hull – The Academy product, who is a 6ft 7ins left-arm seamer and who will turn 19 during August, has made an impact in both red-ball and T20 formats in his debut season, with 14 wickets in 10 appearances so far. The Metro Bank One-Day Cup is an opportunity to cement the good impression he has already made.
Final thought: The Foxes had a disastrous Vitaly Blast campaign, swiftly followed by the departure of head coach Paul Nixon amid a negative response from supporters. A strong showing in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup, in which they were competitive last season, could help bring a few malcontents back onside ahead of a September push for promotion in the Championship.
Overseas players: Pieter Malan (South Africa)
2022 finish: Fourth (Group A)
2022 leading runscorer: Stephen Eskinazi (658)
2022 leading wicket taker: Umesh Yadav (16)
Key player: Mark Stoneman – With regular white-ball skipper Stephen Eskinazi and Max Holden both away on The Hundred duty, the Seaxes will look to their experienced opener to set the tempo in the powerplay. The 36-year-old left-hander will need to set a platform for bigger hitters like Joe Cracknell, John Simpson and Luke Hollman if Middlesex are to set or chase down competitive totals.
Young Player to watch: Blake Cullen - The young speedster burst onto the one-day scene in 2021, earning a late call-up to London Spirit for the inaugural The Hundred. Beset by injuries since, the still only 21-year-old showed signs during the recent Vitality Blast campaign he is ready begin building on that early promise and bolster an attack which has struggled in the white-ball format.
Final thought: The men from the north side of the Thames desperately need this competition to mark an upturn in a so far forgettable season. They came close to making the knockout stages last year, but with more The Hundred call-ups this time, others will have to step from the shadows if they are to feature at the business end of the competition.
Captain: Haseeb Hameed
Overseas players: Dane Paterson (South Africa).
2022 finish: Quarter-final
2022 leading runscorer: Ben Slater (432)
2022 leading wicket taker: Brett Hutton (22)
Key player: Ben Slater - 50-over cricket was the left-hander’s strongest format when he moved from Derbyshire in 2019 and while he has established himself at the top of the order in Nottinghamshire’s Championship side he remains a force in the shorter format. With three fifties and a hundred last year, Slater improved an already impressive career List A average to a remarkable 56.69.
Young Player to watch: James Hayes - The 22-year-old pace bowler figured in two One-Day Cup matches last season and after taking 29 all-format wickets for Nottinghamshire Second XI this season will be hoping for more opportunities, although all-rounder Tom Loten, who moved from Yorkshire last winter, has scored a weight of Second XI runs as well as taking useful wickets.
Final thought: Although their resources are again depleted substantially by The Hundred, the Outlaws can add leg-spinner Calvin Harrison and the experience of Luke Fletcher to an already well-stocked bowling roster, strengthening a squad that reached the knock-out stage last season. Provided the likes of Lyndon James and Matt Montgomery deliver runs in the middle order, they will fancy themselves at least to match that.
Captain: Rory Burns
Overseas players: None
2022 finish: Seventh (Group A)
2022 leading run-scorer: Tom Lawes (318)
2022 leading wicket-taker: Conor McKerr (10)
Key player: Ben Geddes – The 22-year-old from Epsom captained a young Surrey side in last year’s competition, scoring two half-centuries but most significantly gaining valuable early-career experience of leadership. A talented strokemaker, he will now be expected to score big runs at the top of the order and showcase the ability that has already seen him score first-class hundreds despite limited opportunities to date in red-ball cricket.
Young Player to watch: Yousef Majid – Still only 19, he was just out of his final year at Cranleigh School when he played in all eight group games last summer. It was the slow left-arm spinner’s first taste of senior cricket and he impressed with both his control and temperament while taking nine wickets at a good economy rate of 5.57 runs per over.
Final thought: Surrey have a remarkable 14 players contracted to play in The Hundred, meaning that once again they will be giving many of their emerging younger cricketers a chance to make a name for themselves in the 50-over competition. Last year it was then teenager Tom Lawes, now a first-team regular in all formats and one of The Hundred call-ups, who shone but this season look out for the likes of Geddes, Majid and middle-order batsman Nico Reifer to be the ones to advance their careers.
Captain: Shan Masood
Overseas player: Shan Masood (Pakistan)
2022 finish: Fifth (Group B)
2022 leading runscorer: Harry Duke (429)
2022 leading wicket taker: Matthew Waite (14)
Key player: Shan Masood – The club captain returns from Pakistan Test duty to lead a youthful squad shorn of nine players because of The Hundred. He is the experienced head and the linchpin top order batter who others can play around. Ideal personal preparation for the left-hander ahead of a potential ODI World Cup campaign in October.
Young Player to watch: James Wharton – The 22-year-old batter is yet to make his List A debut, but he has shown flashes of encouragement in the other two formats this year, including scoring a blistering century in the Vitality Blast group stage. The tall right-hander from Huddersfield hits long and hard down the ground.
Final thought: Ottis Gibson has given up his assistant coach’s role with the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred to take charge of the Vikings in the One-Day Cup. Yorkshire avoided a points deduction from the CDC when it announced its sanctions, which gives the club hope of pushing for silverware this summer.
Overseas Players: Haider Ali (Pakistan), Suranga Lakmal (Sri Lanka)
2022 finish: Seventh (Group B)
2022 leading run scorer: Luis Reece (330 runs)
2022 leading wicket taker: Ben Aitchison (13 wickets)
Key player: Luis Reece - Derbyshire will hope Reece has another good tournament, both with bat and ball. The all-rounder can score quickly once he gets in and his ability to swing the ball at a lively pace will bolster an attack that has been depleted by injuries and Hundred call-ups.
Young player to watch: Harry Came - Appropriately enough for someone whose father owns a vineyard, Came is maturing nicely in both red and white-ball cricket. The 24-year-old opener scored his maiden first-class hundred in May and played some important innings in the Vitality Blast, including a 34-ball 50 in Derbyshire’s record T20 opening stand against Leicestershire.
Final thought: The concern is the bowling with Lakmal still recovering from a groin injury, Aitchison out for the season and George Scrimshaw and Zak Chappell involved in The Hundred. It leaves the seam attack severely depleted although Lakmal should be available for the later stages but Sam Conners, Anuj Dal and Reece will have to perform well if Derbyshire are to make the knock-out stages.
Captain: Alex Lees
Overseas players: David Bedingham (South Africa), Migael Pretorius (South Africa)
2022 finish: Ninth (Group A)
2022 leading runscorer: Graham Clark (277)
2022 leading wicket taker: Chris Rushworth (12)
Key player: Alex Lees - The Durham white-ball skipper is in prime form with the bat in the LV= Insurance County Championship and will be determined to continue his form in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup. Lees scored two centuries and 562 runs in Durham’s run to the final in 2021, and his absence due to England duty last season loomed large over the North-East outfit’s fortunes. If he can maintain his red ball form, he could top score in the tournament this year.
Young Player to watch: Ben McKinney - Durham have had a good history unearthing powerful left-handed batters named Ben; and McKinney will have the chance to prove his potential in the One-Day Cup. After starting the opening Championship game of the season, first-team opportunities have been hard to come by for the 19-year-old. But, the white-ball competition should suit his skill-set, offering a boundary-striker late in the order for Ryan Campbell’s men behind a potent batting line-up.
Final thought: Durham went from finalists in 2021 to a one-win campaign last season. Expect a response from Lees and his team, who could have the power in their batting line-up to make a similar run to the last four. The issue will be their bowling attack, with Brydon Carse, Matthew Potts, Ben Raine and Bas de Leede all playing in The Hundred. Migael Pretorius and the fit-again Paul Coughlin will provide valuable experience, but Durham will need one of their younger seamers to step up with overs and wickets.
Captain: Kiran Carlson
Overseas player: Colin Ingram (South Africa)
2022 finish: Fourth (Group B)
2022 leading run scorer: Colin Ingram (342)
2022 leading wicket taker: Kiran Carlson (9)
Key player: Colin Ingram – The South African has been the mainstay of Glamorgan’s white-ball batting for a number of seasons now. Ingram was Glamorgan’s top runscorer in the 50-over competition last year and, after averaging 47 in the recently-concluded Vitality Blast, will again be relied upon to pace Glamorgan’s batting.
Young Player to watch: Tom Bevan - Scored an imperious 134 runs off 103 balls in the win over Hampshire last year. More of the same would be very helpful if the ex-Millfield School product is given his chance again. Last season's 2nd XI player of the year and John Derrick Young Player of the Year.
Final thought: Champions in 2021, they came agonisingly close to reaching the knock-out stages again last season. Skipper Carlson sets high standards in the field, as well as with bat and ball. High energy earned them the title two summers ago. It will be a case of follow the leader.
Captain: Graeme van Buuren
Overseas players: Zafar Gohar (Pakistan), Harry Tector (Ireland, 1 Aug only)
2022 finish: Fifth (Group A)
2022 leading runscorer: Jack Taylor (401)
2022 leading wicket taker: Zafar Gohar & Paul van Meekeren (13 each)
Key player: Jack Taylor – Capable of providing mid-innings acceleration with powerful striking to all areas of the ground, the experienced all-rounder averaged 66.83 with the bat in last season’s competition and also did well with his leg-spin, taking 11 wickets, with an economy rate of less than six an over.
Young Player to watch: Joe Phillips - The 19-year-old Cornishman, from Truro, is fresh from making his first-class debut in the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Glamorgan at Cheltenham. Before that he made 63 and 95 in a second XI game with Kent and is sure to be given plenty of opportunities in the 50-over competition.
Final thought: The One-Day Cup offers a final chance for Gloucestershire to make something of a disappointing season, having failed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Vitality Blast and struggled in the County Championship Second Division. Their chances are strengthened by having only two players selected for The Hundred and, despite a relatively small squad, they should be competitive.
Captain: Lewis McManus
Overseas players: Sam Whiteman (Australia), Privthi Shaw (India)
2022 finish: Eighth (Group B)
2022 leading runscorer: Will Young (345)
2022 leading wicket taker: Nathan Buck (14)
Key player: Emilio Gay – He scored more than 300 runs in last year’s competition comes into the tournament in rich form having just scored his fourth Championship ton at Emirates Old Trafford. The stylish left-hander is pushing his case hard to be seen as an all-format player rather than a red ball specialist and his runs could be key to Northamptonshire’s success.
Young Player to watch: Justin Broad – The batter signed his first professional contract in June following a string of impressive performances for the second team. Broad, who has also made nine international appearances for Germany, immediately became a regular fixture in the Blast and Championship, where he took useful wickets with his medium pace.
Final thought: With Northamptonshire sitting at the foot of Division One, the tournament offers a chance to kickstart their season with keeper Lewis McManus taking over as captain. While the experienced Rob Keogh, Ben Sanderson and Tom Taylor are managing injuries they are expected to feature, but this will also be an opportunity for the club’s talented young bowlers to stake their claims.
Overseas players: Curtis Campher (Ireland)
2022 finish: Eighth (Group A)
2022 leading runscorer: James Rew (376)
2022 leading wicket taker: Kasey Aldridge (13)
Key player: Sean Dickson - The former Durham opener has had to overcome a difficult start to his Somerset career in red ball cricket this season, but blossomed in the Vitality Blast, earning lasting popularity with supporters by top-scoring in Vitality Blast Finals Day victories over Surrey and Essex after going in both times with his side in trouble.
Young Player to watch: Alfie Ogborne - The Yeovil-born left-arm seamer was still a teenager when breaking into Somerset's team in this competition a year ago and when making his first-class debut this season, claiming match figures of three wickets for 89 runs from 28 overs in a drawn LV= Insurance County Championship match against Hampshire at Taunton.
Final thought: James Rew and Kasey Aldridge, top run-maker and wicket-taker respectively in last season’s competition, have both gone on to play regular County Championship cricket this season and Somerset will be hoping for similar development from some of the youngsters who will benefit from the absence of ten senior players in The Hundred.
Captain: Cheteshwar Pujara
Overseas players: Cheteshwar Pujara (India)
2022 finish: Semi-finalists
2022 leading run scorer: Cheteshwar Pujara (624)
2022 leading wicket taker: Ari Karvelas (20)
Key player: Cheteshwar Pujara - The impact Pujara can provide, as captain and with the bat, shouldn’t be underestimated. Sussex were on no-one’s radar a year ago but he scored three hundreds as they topped the group and he led the side shrewdly. He returns in decent form too, having made 133 for West Zone during a brief return to India at the start of July.
Young Player to watch: James Coles - Picked up nine wickets last year and his off spin has improved since while he also offers the promise of quick runs in the middle order. The 19-year-old has scored two Championship hundreds this season and the freedom with which he plays should be suited to the 50 overs format.
Final thought: Sussex will fancy a repeat run to the semi-finals, especially with Ali Orr, who made Sussex’s first 50 overs double hundred last year, and Steve Finn increasing their selection options after recovering from injury. Look out too for Ari Karvelas and Brad Currie to make an impact with the new ball while Sussex still have the option to recruit a second overseas player if necessary.
Captain: Will Rhodes
Overseas players: N/A
2022 finish: Sixth (Group A)
2022 leading runscorer: Rob Yates (412)
2022 leading wicket taker: Olly Hannon-Dalby (16)
Key player: Jake Lintott - The career trajectory of the left-arm wrist-spinner has hit it's first dip after the astonishing rise of recent years. Without a The Hundred gig for the first time, the 30-year-old will be looking to rekindle the form and confidence which took him so far so quickly. If he does, a hatful of wickets could follow.
Young Player to watch: Ethan Brookes - The highly-talented all-rounder is approaching a crossroads. Much of his cricket, especially with the bat, suggests he is ready for a sustained first-team chance but the competition for places at Warwickshire is high. A storming 50-over campaign would make his point to the coaches at Edgbaston and, should his first-team path continue to be blocked there, elsewhere.
Final thought: Interest remains high in 50-over cricket at Edgbaston and crowds have been excellent for the format despite the absence of key players in The Hundred. The Bears supporters enjoy seeing home-grown players fledge but this is the club's only chance of silverware this season so they would appreciate a proper tilt at the trophy - qualification from the group, at least.
Captain: Jake Libby
Overseas player: Azhar Ali (Pakistan)
2022 finish: Ninth (Group B)
2022 leading runscorer: Jake Libby (332)
2022 leading wicket taker: Dillon Pennington (10)
Key player: Jake Libby – The prolific opener in all formats of the game will be skippering the side in an official role for the first time in the 50-over competition and provides stability and a calming influence for the younger players. Last season’s leading run-scorer for the Rapids provides the solid rock around the more powerful hitters can play.
Young Player to watch: Kashif Ali - The first product of SACA to sign a contract with a first-class county, Kashif showed glimpses of his talent last summer, including a brilliant century on his List A debut versus Kent. A broken thumb checked his progress but expected to make a big impact in 2023 with his wristy stroke-play.
Final thought: Worcestershire were weakened by the call-up of several players at the 11th hour to The Hundred in 2022 and this was reflected in their results. Adam Hose will be a big miss with the Northern Superchargers but overall the squad is considerably stronger and capable of emulating their encouraging performances in the Vitality Blast.