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County name squad of 13 for Pears encounter

Rob Taylor, Matthew Hoggard and Nathan Buck are in contention to come back into the Leicestershire LV=CC side for the latest fixture against Worcestershire tomorrow (11am start).

County have named a 13-man squad for the visit of the Pears, with Taylor and Buck joining 11 of the 12 who travelled to St Helen’s last week. Youngster Tom Wells is having a rest following a busy start to his first team career.

Ben Raine is in line to make his maiden first team appearance at Grace Road after an impressive start to his Leicestershire career. The young all-rounder made 37 and picked up 4-93 at Swansea and also played in both YB40 matches over the Bank Holiday weekend.

County will again be without Jigar Naik, Anthony Ireland and Robbie Williams, while Ramnaresh Sarwan’s return has been delayed slightly because of his side’s success in the Caribbean Premier League.

Sarwan led Guyana Amazon Warriors to the final of the tournament but they lost to Jamaica Tallawahs, who were coached by Club Ambassador Paul Nixon. That game was played in the early hours of Sunday morning (BST).

Leicestershire are still looking for their first LV=CC win as they attempt to move up the table in the closing weeks of the season, while Worcestershire sit in mid-table after suffering relegation in 2012.

A big connection between the clubs is Ben Smith, who has given tremendous service to both clubs both as a player and coach.

County batsman Ned Eckersley is on the verge of a personal milestone as he requires just another 28 runs to reach 1,000 in first-class cricket this summer. The batsman will also be looking at getting to the four figure mark in the Championship, with Eckersley needing 55 to get to that point.

Matthew Boyce (620) and Shiv Thakor (618) are also past the 600-run mark, so they will need to average around 95 runs per game before the end of the season if they are to reach 1,000.

On the bowling front, Ollie Freckingham leads the way with 34 at an average of 38.26, so he will need to average four wickets per game to get to the magical 50-mark in his first full season on the staff.

Naik claimed 26 at an average of 35.92 before being sidelined by a dislocated shoulder, while Alex Wyatt has picked up 22 victims at an average of 33.36.

Worcestershire have had two stand-out Championship performers, with Moeen Ali, brother of former County batsman Kadeer, making an outstanding 1,184 runs at an average of 74. Alan Richardson has again performed very well; he is one wicket away from claiming 50 and has an impressive average of a shade over 20.

Moeen is also a more than useful spinner but Worcestershire have also included Shaaiq Choudhry in their 12-man travelling party. The slow left armer bowled well against County in the first meeting of the sides at New Road.

Leics (from): Smith, O’Brien, Eckersley, Thakor, Boyce, Cobb, Raine, Taylor, Freckingham, Sykes, Wyatt, Hoggard, Buck.

Worcs (from): Mitchell, Pardoe, Moeen, Samaraweera, Fell, Leach, Whiteley, Johnson, Shantry, Cessford, Richardson, Choudhry.


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