Watch a live stream of Essex vs Hampshire in the YB40 clash at Chelmsford.
When: 16.40 BST
Watch live: Essex v Hampshire live streaming with NowTV!
At 16.40 on Friday Essex and Hampshire kick start the new YB40 campaign at Chelmsford, with the away side looking to defend their title from 2012.
The Eagles have won this competition five times in their history in its various guises but have failed to lift the trophy in five years since their last victory in 2008.
The hosts won’t have Dutch all-rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate or batsman Owais Shah available, as they are both currently playing in the IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
However, England skipper Alastair Cook will be able to play as he spends time with the county before he prepares to lead the Three Lions against New Zealand later in the month.
For Hampshire they have found success in this tournament four times, with three of those triumphs coming in the last eight years.
The club has become known as short-over specialists in recent times, supported at present by the likes of Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey and all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas in the squad.
It could be a close opening battle in the YB40 this year with both sides fancying their chances to lift the trophy.