Darren Gough will play his first County Championship match of the season today in the crucial Roses match at Headingley.
Yorkshire take on Lancashire, buoyed by the return of the England pace spearhead after the first half of his season was ruined by a knee injury. The Roses rivals fill the bottom two places in the table and, with just two wins between them all season, neither can afford to lose.
Gough will want to prove he can cope with the demands of a four-day game before the Test series with India while his fellow England players, Michael Vaughan and Matthew Hoggard, will be rested, and Steve Kirby is still injured.
Yorkshire's Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy win over Essex on Tuesday followed Sunday's 135-run thrashing of Somerset in the Norwich Union League, and their coach, Wayne Clark, is desperate to see his side translate their superb one-day form into a first four-day win of the season.
Lancashire welcome back Stuart Law, who broke his thumb against Kent at Liverpool three weeks ago, into their side in place of Tim Roberts. Glen Chapple is in contention after recovering from a side strain, but Andrew Flintoff will be rested.
The match will be particularly poignant for David Byas, who makes his first Championship return to a Headingley ground where he captained Yorkshire for five seasons.
Kent have included James Hockley in their 12-man squad for the visit of the leaders, Surrey, to Canterbury. Hockley replaces Matthew Walker as David Fulton's side look to extend a three-match unbeaten run.
Surrey have named the England batsman Mark Butcher in a 12-man squad after his recovery from a knee operation. Alex Tudor and Alec Stewart are rested at the request of the England Cricket Board. Graham Thorpe is also not selected before the Test series.
The Somerset captain, Jamie Cox, has admitted his side are gambling on a "late-season run" as they prepare for their game with Sussex at Taunton. The Cidermen have suffered a long injury list to which Marcus Trescothick was added when he broke his thumb on Wednesday. Trescothick, Andrew Caddick (side), Simon Francis (finger) and Richard Johnson (hamstring) will all be missing.
Sussex have no new injury problems, but the seamer James Kirtley is expected to be out for another month after surgery on the hand he injured in the nets while on England one-day international duty.
Full-strength Worcestershire could make up for their exit from the C&G Trophy yesterday by going top of the Second Division with a win over lowly Northamptonshire.
Gloucestershire are likely to be unchanged as they take on a Glamorgan side welcoming back their captain, Steve James, after a calf problem.
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