Leicestershire are a part of Group 2 in the 2021 County Championship – here’s their preview, player in & outs and fixtures list for the competition.
County Championship 2021: Leicestershire preview
5/6 North Group
In: Marcus Harris (Aus), Ed Barnes (Yorks), Rishi Patel (Essex), Scott Steel (Durham), Naveen-ul-Haq (Afg, T20), Josh Inglis (Aus, T20)
Out: Tom Taylor (Northants), Mark Cosgrove (released), Paul Horton (retired)
Colin Ackermann – the South African has become the heartbeat of the club since joining in 2017. Appointed four-day skipper in March 2020, he is Leicestershire’s most reliable batsman by a distance, averaging 54 last summer. He’ll want to improve his conversion rate though – he’s passed 50 on 11 occasions in the last two seasons without reaching three figures.
Rishi Patel – Essex had high hopes for the 22-year-old strokemaker, who played four matches in their 2019 title-winning season, but Patel decided to set out in search of more first-team opportunities, joining Leicestershire on a three-year deal after a brief loan spell at Grace Road. Eight second-team hundreds for Essex across 2018 and 2019 suggest a tidy piece of business.
County Championship 2021: Leicestershire fixtures
Leicestershire v Hampshire, Grace Road, Thursday, April 8
Surrey v Leicestershire, Kennington Oval, Thursday, April 15
Leicestershire v Somerset, Grace Road, Thursday, April 22
Gloucestershire v Leicestershire, County Ground, Thursday, April 29
Leicestershire v Surrey, Grace Road, Thursday, May 6
Hampshire v Leicestershire, The Rose Bowl, Thursday, May 20
Leicestershire v Middlesex, Grace Road, Thursday, May 27
Leicestershire v Gloucestershire, Grace Road, Thursday, June 3
Somerset v Leicestershire, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Sunday, July 4
Middlesex v Leicestershire, Merchant Taylors’ School Ground, Sunday, July 11
After finishing bottom across all formats in a chastening 2019, last summer gave cause for cautious optimism, particularly in the T20 Cup where the Foxes came within a whisker of Finals Day.
The highlight of their BWT campaign was a rousing Ackermann-inspired win against Lancashire, but they generally lacked wicket-taking threat, with no bowler reaching double figures. The batting has been bolstered by the arrival of Australian Test opener Marcus Harris.
6th in Division 3
This preview first appeared in issue 42 of Wisden Cricket Monthly.
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