Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read believes newly-promoted counties Lancashire and Surrey will provide tough challenges in the new LV=County Championship season.
Notts will face both teams in the opening two games of the campaign, Surrey coming to Trent Bridge in the first fixture of the season and then Lancashire hosting Read’s men at Old Trafford at the beginning of May.
And Read says it will be a good chance to weigh up what is on offer from the division’s new boys.
He said: “Two very strong and big clubs have joined the top flight and it’ll be intersting to see what they’re about.
“Division One has been exceptionally strong for two or three years now and I always think the sides coming up are going to be strong. From a neutral’s point of view, Lancashire and Surrey are big sides who should be in the top flight, so it’s good to see them there and hopefully we’ll have the measure of them.”
Read believes Notts will be playing the new boys at a good time on the evidence of previous years.
He added: “Early in the season can be a good time to play them as traditionally we’re strong here early on, although last year we had a better second half of the season.
“The rule changes surrounding the toss may affect things too as teams get used to it, so it’ll be an interesting start to the season for us.”
Changes to the structure of the domestic season will see ‘white ball cricket’ more intertwined with county matches, something Read welcomes.
He said: “It’s a good idea in my eyes. I think a lot of players find it easier to adapt straight from one day to T20 cricket than four day matches into T20, and I think it will also help the quality of the competitions.”