Opposition Preview: Leicestershire Foxes
Coach: Paul Nixon
Captain: Colin Ackermann
Last Year’s Performance: Quarter-finalists
2020 Leading Runscorer: Aaron Lilley (278 @ 30.88)
2020 Leading Wicket Taker: Gavin Griffiths (10 @ 18.00), Callum Parkinson (10 @ 21.00).
Overseas players: Naveen-ul-Haq (Afghanistan - whole tournament), Josh Inglis (Australia – whole tournament).
Key man: Colin Ackermann - Leicestershire’s world-record holder - the only bowler to take seven wickets in a T20 innings - remains the county’s mainstay in all formats.
Flies under the radar: Gavin Griffiths - Joint leading wicket-taker in 2021, the Lancastrian pace bowler has 32 T20 wickets in four seasons since moving to the Uptonsteel County Ground.
Best Player Under 24: Naveen-ul-Haq - Only 21 years old, the Afghanistan fast bowler has already played in eight T20Is and seven ODIs. Known for his unusual action and an array of slower balls.
Blast expectations: Bottom of the North Division in 2019, Leicestershire surprised even themselves last year by almost reaching Finals Day for the first time since 2011. The Foxes squeezed into the knock-out stage with wins against Nottinghamshire and Lancashire before an unlucky exit in a low-scoring quarter-final against the eventual champions at Trent Bridge, when a last-ball misfield cruelly eliminated Leicestershire on the tie-breaker of runs scored in the Powerplay. Whether they can go one better this season remains to be seen but overseas pair Naveen-ul-Haq and Josh Inglis come with good stats in the format, while Scott Steel, their signing from Durham, had an outstanding 2019, including a 30-ball 70 against the Foxes at Grace Road. They will hope at least to be in contention.