Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall will make his first appearance of the season against Durham MCCU at the Racecourse on Friday April 20.
The former South Africa all-rounder has missed the first two weeks of the season because of a calf strain sustained in an inter-squad friendly at Wantage Road and Northamptonshire have struggled in Hall’s absence.
Having battled for three days against Derbyshire at Derby in their opening County Championship match, Northamptonshire capitulated on the last day.
They were then trounced by an innings by Kent at Wantage Road last week, a miserable start to the season which was in sharp contrast to last year when Northamptonshire were unbeaten in all cricket by the start of the Friends Life t20.
Although the Durham MCCU match is not first-class – the students have already played their two matches against county opposition which will count towards this season’s averages – Hall is keen to play to find form before the return to Championship action against Essex at Chelmsford next week.
Northamptonshire are expected to play most of their frontline batsmen at Durham in the hope that they might play themselves into form against less demanding bowling than they have already faced.
New recruit Con de Lange, a slow left-armer with first-class experience in his native South Africa, is also likely to feature in the squad having been named as twelfth man at Derby.