CRICKET: Lord's victors win champions' vote against Yorkshire; COUNTY PREVIEW.
Coach Mick Newell selected his team for the season's curtain-raiser at Lord's with the first match of their Division One campaign against Yorkshire at Trent Bridge uppermost in his thoughts.
Yorkshire, making their return to Division One, will be without last season's leading wicket-taker Deon Kruis due to a calf strain.
Tim Bresnan, who took five wickets and scored a career-best 94 for MCC at Lord's, will again line up against the champions.
Australian Darren Lehmann makes a much-anticipated return after missing last season but compatriot Jason Gillespie is on Test duty.
England captain Michael Vaughan will not play as he continues his recovery from knee surgery while Matthew Hoggard is rested.
Kent are without Justin Kemp and Andrew Hall, their South African overseas players, against promoted Durham at Canterbury. All-rounder Kemp's arrival has been delayed due to an operation to remove an ingrowing toe nail while Hall is also on international duty.
Durham are without England's Steve Harmison and Paul Collingwood while Mark Davies and Kyle Coetzer are injured.
In Division Two, Surrey launch their bid for a quick return to the top flight against Derbyshire at the Oval - a fixture switched from Derby due to poor weather.
Veteran seamer Martin Bicknell is out with a groin strain and India's Anil Kumble is not yet available but Pakistani all-rounder Azhar Mahmood will feature.
Derbyshire had hoped to include Graham Wagg, the former Warwickshire and England A all-rounder now available after a 15-month ban for taking cocaine, but he is ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Travis Birt, a hardhitting Australian batsman, makes his competitive debut alongside Chris Taylor and James Pipe, signed from Yorkshire and Worcestershire respectively.
New Zealand all-rounder Andre Adams isin the Essex side to play Northamptonshire at Chelmsford where captain Ronnie Irani and fast bowler Darren Gough return after sitting out the friendly with Lough-borough UCCE but Alex Tudor is short of match practice following a knee operation.
Will Jefferson, who severed tendons in a wrist during an accident at home, is at least a fortnight away from a comeback.
Northants give debuts to Chris Rogers, Stephen Peters, formerly of Worcestershire, Australian Matt Nicholson and South African Lance Klusener.