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
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A mild, windy and cloudy day with perhaps some brief breaks in the cloud. The cloud may be thick enough at times for light drizzle at times.
Mild, windy and mainly dry.
It's not Father Christmas' usual mode of transport but these young patients didn't seem to notice.