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While there's little joy to be found from England's winter, in the domestic game Northamptonshire have plenty to look forward to.
But they have been dealt an early blow with South African bowler Rory Kleinveldt forced out of his overseas player contract because of injury - the latest in a long line. But that apart, they're in good spirits, as Jim Rice reports.
Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Jim Rice