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May 24, 2005
Gloucestershire v Nottinghamshire at Bristol
Gloucestershire's opening batsman Craig Spearman has been replaced by Kadeer Ali. The batsman Matt Windows has been chosen ahead of Tim Hancock, while Carl Greenidge will replace Jon Lewis who is on England duty. Nottinghamshire have been boosted by the return of Greg Smith and Graeme Swann. But AJ Harris and Russell Warren will not be back in time: Harris has a broken thumb and Warren is recovering from a back injury.
Kent v Surrey at Tunbridge Wells
As expected, the South African allrounder Justin Kemp has been placed straight into Kent`s squad to face Surrey at Tunbridge Wells. The big-hitting Kemp is the only addition to the team which crushed Nottinghamshire by 196 runs at Trent Bridge in the last round. Niall O'Brien, the Irish keeper, will continue to stand in for Geraint Jones who has been included in England's squad to face Bangladesh in the first Test at Lord's which starts on Thursday. Surrey will be missing several key players including their captain Mark Butcher and Graham Thorpe. Butcher is still sidelined as he recovers from his latest injury - this time it is his wrist - while Thorpe will be unavailable owing to England commitments for the first Test. Mark Ramprakash, who will continue to lead the side in Butcher's absence, will also be without Ian Salisbury, James Ormond and Azhar Mahmood, all of whom are sidelined by injury.
Sussex v Middlesex at Hove
Sussex have named an unchanged 12-man squad from the side that defeated Warwickshire to face Middlesex at Hove. There is no place in the side for Chris Hopkinson, who struck 64 in the crushing defeat against the Bangladeshis. Sussex' captain, Chris Adams, is confident that his side can repeat their success against Warwickshire in their last match, which was also at Hove. "On wickets like the ones we have at Hove, I would back us against anyone if we are on our game. Our players are very confident, but you need to graft and show a lot of patience." The Indian pace bowler Irfan Pathan is due to make his debut for Middlesex: he will replace the injured Nantie Hayward. Andrew Strauss is absent for the county, as he is due to take on Bangladesh in the first Test at Lord's on Thursday. Alan Richardson and Chris Peploe return to the squad of 12.
Warwickshire v Hampshire at Stratford-upon-Avon
Dewald Pretorius will return for Warwickshire after recovering from a hip injury. Nick Knight, Dougie Brown, Tony Frost, Heath Streak and Neil Carter are all back in the side after missing the match against Cambridgeshire UCCE. Ashley Giles and Ian Bell are both absent owing to England commitments. Naqaash Tahir could make his first championship appearance of the summer. Trevor Penney and Mark Wagh are still out injured. Simon Katich has flown back to Australia to join the Ashes squad, and so will not play for Hampshire. Chris Tremlett will also be missing while he continues to recover from a knee injury while Dimitri Mascarenhas will have a late fitness test on a side strain. Chris Benham, 22, has been named in the 12 for only his second championship match. He made 74 on his debut against Derbyshire in the last match of the 2004 season. Shaun Udal and Richard Logan also make a return.
Northamptonshire v Somerset at Northampton
Charl Pietersen is Northamptonshire's only change from the team which drew with Essex in the last round of the championship. Pietersen, a fast bowler, took 3 for 74 in a rain-affected tour match against the Bangladeshis. Andrew Caddick and Nixon McLean will undergo late fitness tests. The pair missed Somerset's last match against Lancashire, Caddick suffering from a rib injury and McLean struggling with a neck problem. Ian Blackwell hurt his back and Richard Johnson injured his knee in their last match, but both should play. Simon Francis, however, will miss the game with a broken finger.
Yorkshire v Essex at Headingley
Alex Tudor will undergo a late fitness test on his knee ahead of Essex's match against Yorkshire at Headingley. The pace bowler Tudor has been included in a 13-man squad along which includes Grant Flower and Andre Adams, who has been passed fit after suffering a shoulder injury. Ryan ten Doeschate is named for the first time this season. Tudor has been struggling with back and hip problems, but Essex - who gambled on his fitness when they offered him a contract - confirmed that the knee injury was a recurrence of an old injury. Ashley Cowan and Tony Palladino have been dropped from the side that suffered an eight-wicket defeat to Worcestershire in the last championship match. Graham Napier and Andy Clarke are both unavailable: Napier has a heel injury, while Clarke is waiting to hear back from a specialist about a long-term ankle injury.
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