New English Cricket Season Overview
The weather may not suggest summer is nearly here, but temperatures are set to rise up and down the country with the start of the county season.
The LV County Championship begins on Friday and once again the 18 first-class counties are split into two divisions of nine.
Durham dominated in Division One last time out and will be looking to make it a hat-trick, though they can expect some tough competition in the top tier.
In Division Two, big guns Surrey, who have dramatically overhauled their playing squad, and Sus*** will both be gunning for promotion.
As for one-day action, all counties are allowed to sign two overseas players for the extended Twenty20 Cup (now called the Friends Provident t20), while there is a 40-over competition that runs throughout the summer.
After narrowly missing out on promotion from Division Two last summer, Derbyshire will be hoping inspirational captain Chris Rogers can lead them into the top flight this time around.
Durham head into the 2010 season looking to wrap up a hat-trick of County Championship titles, and it would take a brave man to bet against them maintaing their dominance.
Es*** left it late to seal four-day promotion, but do they have a squad strong enough to survive in the top tier of the LV County Championship?
While the Welsh rocked the Ashes last summer, Glamorgan didn't quite manage to shine on the county circuit - they will hope to improve in 2010.
The coach-captain axis of John Bracewell and Alex Gidman enters its second year as Gloucestershire look to build on the positive elements of a mixed campaign in 2009.
The Hawks soared in one-day cricket last year, winning the Friends Provident Trophy. After a busy winter recruiting, they will now hope for further success in the four-day arena.
Kent made sure their stay in Division Two of the LV County Championship was a short one, while they came close to winning the Twenty20 Cup for a second time last year.
After seeing their County Championship title drought extend to a 60th year last summer, Lancashire will be hoping a familiar face and a touch of Sri Lankan quality will spark a change of fortunes at Old Trafford.
After a miserable 2009 campaign, Leicestershire have pinned their hopes on former England seamer Matthew Hoggard to steady the ship.
After a disappointing campaign last time out Middle*** have made major changes to their playing staff - but can the new faces help them succeed in all forms of the game?
The restructuring of the Kolpak ruling and a change of heart from the Board of Control for Cricket in India has hit Northamptonshire hard ahead of the new county campaign.
Nottinghamshire have played second-fiddle to Durham over the last two seasons. But, with the arrival of Hashim Amla at Trent Bridge for the start of the summer, the Outlaws will expect to be in the hunt for silverware.
Somerset contended in all competitions but finished trophy-less in 2009. Now, with Justin Langer and Andrew Caddick retired, the county are bidding to stock up on silverware under the leadership of Marcus Trescothick.
Surrey head into the new season with renewed optimism after director of professional cricket Chris Adams made a major overhaul of his squad, headlined by the return of Rory Hamilton-Brown as captain.
Sus*** hope Monty Panesar's arrival will help spin them back into the top-flight of the County Championship, while they will hope to continue their one-day success in 2010.
Warwickshire, coming off a solid but unspectacular campaign last year, have put their faith in overseas recruit Imran Tahir to turn them into Championship contenders.
Relegation from Division One was followed by a winter of upheaval for Worcestershire. Expectations are now low as captain Vikram Solanki remains at the helm of a much-changed, inexperienced squad.
The Tykes have a new man at the helm - so can Andrew Gale lead the White Rose county to glory in 2010 after a disappointing summer last time out?