YORKSHIRE will be aiming to make an instant return to the Friends Life t20 finals day.
The Tykes reached the showpiece for the first time last year and start their push for a repeat tomorrow when they take on Derbyshire Falcons at Headingley (5.40pm).
However, the Tykes – already without their England regulars Tim Bresnan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root – have several players battling for fitness going into the North Division opener against Derbyshire.
Phil Jaques, abdominal injury, and Steve Patterson, broken toe, are out, as is Iain Wardlaw who has Scotland commitments.
The Vikings are expected to err on the side of caution when it comes to Jack Brooks, who is heading back to fitness after six weeks out with a broken thumb.
Although Ryan Sidebottom, Moin Ashraf and Azeem Rafiq are expected to return from their respective back and knee injuries, Yorkshire will wait to name their team.
Yorkshire’s head coach Jason Gillespie said: “We’ve got a few guys out who aren’t going to be considered, which can’t be helped.”
Ready to step up are Dan Hodgson, who is set to bat at three and not keep wicket, and Adil Rashid, who has played only four domestic T20 matches last season en route to the defeat against Hampshire in the final at Cardiff.
“We’ve had a bit of a change in personnel this year, but we see it as a real opportunity for some lads to show us what they can do in Twenty20,” said Gillespie.
“Hopefully we can get ourselves to finals day, which was a wonderful experience for us all last year.”