Northamptonshire steeled for quickfire opening
Bears look low on confidence
Sky Sports 2, pm Thursday
Warwickshire Bears cruised to an eight-week victory over Surrey in the final of last year's Royal London One-Day Cup but their defence of the 2017 trophy could start with a defeat to Northants in a televised North Group clash at Northampton.
A change to the format of the competition means the group winners will be guaranteed a place in the semi-finals and the rule change may please Northants, who won the section last year before going on to lose to Surrey (the South group's fourth-laced team) in the quarter-finals.
Only the top three teams will go through to the knockout stages so a fast start looks important and Warwickshire may be at a disadvantage with confidence dented by a slow start to their County Championship campaign.
Ian Bell's side have registered two defeats (both by an innings) and a draw in County Championship Division One and will be hoping the change of format can lead to a change in their fortunes.
Northants have won two of their first three matches in County Championship Division Two and have a solid one-day side.
England Test international Ben Duckett starred for them with the bat in last season's One Day Cup competition, scoring 443 runs at an average of 63.28, and could have a key role to play as Northants look to build on the strong start they have made in the longer form of the game.
1pt 10-11 general