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Leics season preview

Nixon aiming to get Foxes back in the hunt

Nixon: man in charge

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Paul Nixon starts his first full season in charge of Leicestershire having assumed the captaincy part-way through a disappointing 2007 campaign.

Nixon's task looks an unenviable one, his bowling resources appear particularly thin in light of Stuart Broad's departure to Nottinghamshire.

While Broad's recent elevation to England's Test team means the Foxes would probably not have seen much of him anyway, it remains a bitter blow to lose the crown jewel of their youth system to their midlands rivals.

Other notable departures include batting trio John Maunders, Darren Robinson and John Sadler, as well as medium pacer David Masters, who has joined Essex.

Kolpak heaven

South African all-rounder Dillion du Preez and Jamaican fast bowler Jermaine Lawson have been signed on Kolpak contracts.

Another South African, Boeta Dippenaar, arrives as overseas player to bolster a batting line-up that already included his fellow countryman Hylton Ackerman, another of the Kolpak contingent.

There is plenty of room for improvement after last season's eighth place finish in the lower division of the county championship and failure to contend in any of the limited-overs competitions.

Big year for: Paul Nixon - His first full season as captain offers the garrulous wicketkeeper an opportunity to back up his talk with results. Nixon's brief England career appears to be over leaving him to concentrate his considerable energy on reviving Leicestershire's fortunes.

Rising star: James Taylor - The 18-year-old batsman has yet to make his first-class debut but should get his chance at some stage in 2008 after topping the averages for England Under 19 at February's World Cup.