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2018 county cricket previews: Leicestershire

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

In partnership with the Cricketers’ Who’s Who, here’s Wisden’s profile of Leicestershire for 2018.

FORMED: 1879
HOME GROUND: Fischer County Ground, Leicester
ONE-DAY NAME: Leicestershire Foxes
CAPTAIN: Michael Carberry
2017 RESULTS: CC2: 10/10; RL50: 6/9 North Group; T20: Quarter-finalists
HONOURS: Championship: (3) 1975, 1996, 1998; Benson & Hedges Cup: (3) 1972, 1975, 1985; Sunday League: (2) 1974, 1977; T20 Cup: (3) 2004, 2006, 2011

The lowdown

No wins, five draws, nine defeats: Leicestershire would have finished bottom of Division Two even if they had been spared a 16-point disciplinary deduction in April. Durham, who began the season with a 48-point handicap, finished 23 points above them. The hard-nosed Pierre de Bruyn resigned as head coach less than a year into the job, with the hot potato now in the hands of Leicester legend Paul Nixon.

Rapid improvement is required in all disciplines. Mark Cosgrove scored 1,112 Championship runs last summer but only one other frontline batsman averaged above 30. Ben Raine led the attack heroically but lacked support and now shoulders a heavy burden after the departure of Clint McKay, who took 199 wickets in three seasons at Grace Road.

Michael Carberry, appointed captain in all formats, adds experience to the top order, though he has been short on form. The ray of light is the spirited 21-year-old slow left-armer Callum Parkinson. Leicestershire sprung a surprise by signing Pakistan seamers Mohammad Abbas (27) and Sohail Khan (33) to share the overseas spot, although India’s Varun Aaron has now bee added to the overseas roster for the early part of the season as cover for Abbas. Will Fazakerley retired aged 19 to pursue another career.

Transfers

IN: Michael Carberry (Hants), Ateeq Javid (Warks), Tom Taylor (Derbyshire), Mohammad Abbas, Sohail Khan (both Pak), Mohammad Nabi (Afg), Varun Aaron (Ind)
OUT: Clint McKay (Aus), Will Fazakerley (retired)

Head coach: Paul Nixon

Leicestershire have gone back to the boot room by appointing Nixon, the former England wicketkeeper who has lived in Leicester for 30 years and won two Championship titles in the 1990s. “I think the guys just need a little bit of love,” he said. Nixon has won the Caribbean Premier League twice as coach of Jamaica Tallawahs. His assistant John Sadler moves up from the 2nd XI, while new bowling coach Matt Mason has been lured from his native Worcestershire.

Wisden prediction

CC2: 9/10
RL50: 9/9 North Group
T20: 8/9 North Group

CLICK FOR FULL LIST OF 2018 WISDEN PREDICTIONS AND PROFILES OF EVERY COUNTY

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