It is Royal London One-Day Cup time again from Tuesday as Glamorgan start the defence of their trophy.
The timing of the competition, up against The Hundred, has left some squads a bit depleted.
Yet, while it might play second fiddle for the next month in the publicity stakes, it is not sub-standard as far as lovers of the county game are concerned.
Despite the same clash of competitions last year, and counties putting out less experienced sides, clubs reported that attendances were unaffected – and even up in some cases, as games were played in the school summer holidays.
This year, with no first-class county cricket in August in England for the first time since 1939, the 50-over One-Day Cup – which has a bit more common with red-ball cricket than the shorter forms of white-ball – has an even bigger stage.
Even though there is no longer a Lord’s final, Trent Bridge still attracted a good weekday crowd for Glamorgan’s win over Durham last August.
And, as not all the 18 first-class counties are as decimated by The Hundred as others, some will be quietly confident about their chances of lifting one of only three trophies available in domestic county cricket.
While Surrey are missing 13 players, Warwickshire 11, Hampshire, Notts and Somerset 10 each, Yorkshire nine and Lancashire eight – Northants and holders Glamorgan are rubbing their hands, having only lost one player each.
However, the Welsh club are without more than half the side who enjoyed last August’s victory over Durham at Trent Bridge.
Australian stalwart Michael Hogan has signed up with last year’s Hundred winners Southern Brave, while Hamish Rutherford, Nick Selman and Steven Reingold have all moved on.
Tom Cullen, meanwhile, has been kept out by Chris Cooke, and Lukas Carey has fallen off the radar
But they start their defence against Hundred-weakened Derbyshire with a strong squad available, minus only the injured Michael Neser.
And, although there are plenty of youngsters looking to take their chance to shine, there are plenty of established domestic and overseas internationals like Joe Denly, Gary Ballance, Peter Siddle, Will Young, Washington Sundar, Colin Ingram, Cheteshwar Pujara and Krunal Pandya to look out for.
How it works
- The 18 counties are split into two groups of nine and all play eight qualifying group games – four at home and four away.
Group A: Durham, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire
Group B: Derbyshire, Essex, Glamorgan, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire
- Only the top three counties in each group qualify for the knockout stages.
- The second-placed team will host the third-placed team in a play-off ‘quarter-final’ on 26 August.
- The two top counties in each group progress straight to a home semi-final on 30 August, to play the winners of the play-off games.
- The final is again at Trent Bridge, on Saturday, 17 September.
First round of fixtures
Tuesday 2 August (11.00 BST):
Gloucestershire v Warwickshire (Cheltenham)
Nottinghamshire v Sussex (Trent Bridge)
Surrey v Leicestershire (Woodbridge Road, Guildford)
Derbyshire v Glamorgan (Derby)
Lancashire v Essex (Sedbergh School)
Worcestershire v Kent (New Road)
Yorkshire v Northamptonshire (York)
One-Day Cup winners since 2014
Who’s playing? Who’s not playing?
Mark Watt has signed an extended deal. Shan Masood is still not back from Pakistan duty in Sri Lanka and might be on his way to the Netherlands for another tour. With Alex Hughes and Alex Thomson injured, the 13 players named in the squad to face Glamorgan are all the players they have fit (Dave Fletcher, BBC Radio Derby).
Away at The Hundred: George Scrimshaw, Leus du Plooy (Welsh Fire), Wayne Madsen (Manchester Originals), Hilton Cartwright (Oval Invincibles).
“Neil Killeen will run the team while James Franklin is with the Birmingham Phoenix franchise. I hope he does a good job but they look really thin on the bowling front – and Brydon Carse misses The Hundred with a toe injury. Durham’s One-Day Cup form was sensational last year but, after such a poor Championship and desperate T20 I will be mildly surprised if they are anywhere near the final again this year” (Martin Emmerson, BBC Radio Newcastle)
Away at The Hundred: Mark Wood (injured) (London Spirit), Matty Potts, Ben Raine (Northern Superchargers)
Simon Harmer is away with South Africa preparing for the forthcoming Test series against England, and Sir Alastair Cook injured his finger against Somerset last week, but South African Grant Roelofsen is a late addition to the squad.
Away at The Hundred: Dan Lawrence, Adam Rossington (London Spirit), Matt Critchley (Welsh Fire), Michael Pepper (Northern Superchargers), Sam Cook (Trent Rockets).
Colin Ingram is available for seven group games before heading to the Caribbean Premier League. Michael Neser would only have been available for two group games before being recalled to Queensland, but is now injured and will miss out. New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel is due to arrive at the start of September, but there will probably be no overseas player for the last group game and the knockout stages, should they get that far (Nick Webb, BBC Wales).
Away at The Hundred: Michael Hogan (Southern Brave).
Away at The Hundred: David Payne, Ryan Higgins (Welsh Fire), Iain Cockbain (Trent Rockets), Miles Hammond, Benny Howell, Graeme van Buuren (Birmingham Phoenix).
Away at The Hundred: Liam Dawson, Mason Crane, Chris Wood, Brad Wheal, Ben McDermott, Nathan Ellis (London Spirit), James Fuller, James Vince, Joe Weatherley, Ross Whiteley (Southern Brave).
I think you can safely say that Kyle Abbott and Keith Barker now have a month off. And Mohammad Abbas is going home for a month (Kevan James, BBC Radio Solent).
Joe Denly will captain Kent in the One-Day Cup as fellow England international Sam Billings is one of their seven players on Hundred duty.
Away at The Hundred: Zak Crawley, Daniel Bell-Drummond (London Spirit), Fred Klaassen (Manchester Originals), Sam Billings, Jordan Cox, Jack Leaning, Matt Milnes (Oval Invincibles).
India all-rounder Washington Sundar has come in on a short-term deal for July and August and New Zealander Will Williams is now a local player after signing his three-and-a-half year contract. With Dane Vilas out injured after fracturing his knuckle, Keaton Jennings will captain the side, with Karl Krikken and Graham Onions in charge of the team, as head coach Glen Chapple is away with Manchester Originals (Scott Read, BBC Radio Lancashire).
Away at The Hundred: Jos Buttler, Richard Gleeson, Tom Hartley, Phil Salt, Matt Parkinson (Manchester Originals), Luke Wood (Trent Rockets), Liam Livingstone (Birmingham Phoenix), Tim David (Southern Brave).
Away at The Hundred: Colin Ackermann (Manchester Originals), Callum Parkinson (Northern Superchargers), Ben Mike (Trent Rockets), Rehan Ahmed (Southern Brave).
Away at The Hundred: Eoin Morgan, Toby Roland-Jones (London Spirit), John Simpson (Northern Superchargers), Nathan Sowter (Oval Invincibles), Tom Helm (Birmingham Phoenix).
Northants replaced Ricardo Vasconcelos with Will Young as Championship captain for the rest of the season after just eight games in charge and the New Zealander will also lead in this format.
Away at The Hundred: Josh Cobb (Welsh Fire),
Out-of-favour England opener Haseeb Hameed will skipper Notts in the One-Day Cup, with county captain Steven Mullaney one of their Hundred absentees.
Away at The Hundred: Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Jake Ball (Welsh Fire), Calvin Harrison (Manchester Originals), Matt Carter, Luke Fletcher, Alex Hales, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney, Samit Patel (Trent Rockets).
Somerset are without 10 players because of The Hundred and they have not contracted anyone in for the One-Day Cup, but they will have their two Australians available, Matt Renshaw and Peter Siddle (Anthony Gibson, Radio Somerset).
Away at The Hundred: Tom Banton (Welsh Fire), Tom Lammonby (Manchester Originals), Roelof van der Merwe (Northern Superchargers), Rilee Rossouw (Oval Invincibles), Marchant de Lange, Lewis Gregory (Trent Rockets), Tom Abell, Jack Leach, Will Smeed (Birmingham Phoenix), Craig Overton (Southern Brave).
Away at The Hundred: Jamie Smith (London Spirit), Ollie Pope (Welsh Fire), Jamie Overton (injured), Laurie Evans (Manchester Originals), Jordan Clark (Northern Superchargers), Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Will Jacks, Sunil Narine, Jason Roy, Reece Topley (Oval Invincibles), Dan Moriarty (Southern Brave).
Cheteshwar Pujara will captain as Tom Haines (broken hand) remains out. George Garton has only played one Championship game, in which he bowled 21 overs, and eight Blast games, when he bowled a total of 16 overs. He has been suffering from long Covid. Ollie Robinson is in the Sussex squad. There’s an England Lions game at Canterbury against South Africa on 9 August. I expect he will play in that game too. Ravi Bopara and Tymal Mills are only contracted for T20 (Adrian Harms, BBC Radio Sussex).
Away at The Hundred: Ravi Bopara (London Spirit), Jofra Archer (injured), George Garton, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills (Southern Brave), Ollie Robinson (Manchester Originals).
India all-rounder Krunal Pandya has signed purely for the One-Day Cup, as have young wicketkeepers Kai Smith and George Maddy, son of former Bears captain Darren Maddy. Notts-bound Olly Stone is injured, but, although Dom Sibley is signed up with Birmingham Phoenix, he will play in the One-Day Cup for the Bears.
Away at The Hundred: Jacob Bethell, Sam Hain (Welsh Fire), Adam Hose (Northern Superchargers), Danny Briggs (Oval Invincibles), Chris Woakes (injured), Chris Benjamin, Henry Brookes, Dan Mousley (Birmingham Phoenix), Alex Davies, Jake Lintott, Paul Stirling (Southern Brave).
Away at The Hundred: Dwayne Bravo (Northern Superchargers), Pat Brown, Muhammad Hasnain, Jack Haynes (Oval Invincibles), Colin Munro (Trent Rockets), Moeen Ali (Birmingham Phoenix). Mitch Stanley (Manchester Originals).
Will be led by new captain Jonny Tattersall for the first time. Outgoing skipper Steve Patterson, who is now to leave at the end of the season, will not play. England Test player Gary Ballance, Will Fraine, Harry Duke, Ben Coad, Matthew Revis, Matthew Waite, George Hill and Tom Loten are all in their first squad to face Northants (Jonathan Doidge, BBC Radio Leeds).
Away at The Hundred: Jordan Thompson (London Spirit),Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Joe Root (Trent Rockets), Jonny Bairstow (Welsh Fire), Harry Brook, Dawid Malan, Adam Lyth, Adil Rashid, David Willey (Northern Superchargers).