Nottinghamshire's County Championship title hopes have received a boost with the news that England's Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Ryan Sidebottom will play against Warwickshire today.
The centrally-contracted trio have rarely been available this season due to their international commitments, with Sidebottom playing First Division matches, Broad one and Swann yet to feature.
"Our England players haven't played red-ball cricket for a while so the timing of this game was perfect for them to get match practice," said Nottinghamshire's director of cricket, Mick Newell. "We've got games in hand but Yorkshire have got points on the board and it's important that we claw them back."
Over at Essex, Mark Pettini has signed a contract extension, keeping him at the county until the end of the 2012 season. Pettini handed over the captaincy to wicketkeeper James Foster earlier this season, having held the job for three years.
*Graeme Swann has been charged with drink-driving, police said yesterday. The spinner was arrested after being stopped by officers in Nottingham in April. Swann is due to appear before Nottingham magistrates on 16 August.