The new county season is here, so Wisden Cricket Monthly writers have selected a team who they fancy to go particularly well in 2024.


Some of our XI may be on the cusp of higher honours, while others slip into the ‘talented but unproven’ bracket. One thing unites them: they’ll all be great to watch.

Words from Phil Walker, Ben Gardner, Adam Hopkins and Katya Witney.

First published in full: Wisden Cricket Monthly Issue #76.

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Tawanda Muyeye

  • Age: 23
  • Club: Kent
  • Role: Majestic right-hand shot-creator

Standout: 179, Northants v Kent, Wantage Road, 2023 – A maiden ton alongside Daniel Bell-Drummond, sharing a record 318-run partnership for the second wicket

What they say: “A rare talent” Matt Walker, Kent head coach

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: Three-plus red-ball tons; established star of The Hundred

Finlay Bean

  • Age: 21
  • Club: Yorkshire
  • Role: Left-hand old-world opener

Standout: 441, Yorkshire Second XI v Nottinghamshire Second XI, Nottingham, 2022 – A record Second XI Championship score that earned him a professional contract

What they say: “There’ll be more expectation on him after last year, but he’s one of those guys who’ll take it in his stride” Jordan Thompson, Yorkshire teammate

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: 1,000 Championship runs in Division Two; a red-ball Lions cap

Ali Orr

  • Age: 22
  • Club: Hampshire
  • Role: Willowy lefty stylist

Standout: 206, Somerset v Sussex, Taunton, 2022 – A double ton in the 50-Over Cup (11 sixes) followed by a red-ball 198 against Glamorgan a fortnight later

What they say: “He’s stepped outside of his comfort zone to join us” Giles White, Hampshire’s director of cricket

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: Hampshire’s star batter in a triumphant Championship campaign

Jack Haynes

  • Age: 23
  • Club: Nottinghamshire
  • Role: Right-hand strokemaker

Standout: 134*, Durham v Worcestershire, Chester-le-Street, 2023 – A career-best against the best attack in Division Two when no one else passed fifty

What they say: “It’s his hunger to move his game forward that really excites me” Peter Moores, Notts head coach

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: 800+ red-ball runs; a debut in The Hundred

James Coles

  • Age: 20
  • Club: Sussex
  • Role: Right-hand bat; slow left-arm orthodox

Standout: 180, Sussex v Derbyshire, Hove, 2023 – A second first-class ton and a big one at a crucial juncture after Sussex conceded a first-innings lead and lost two wickets inside two overs. Last man out, no one else made fifty

What they say: “High skill level, great approach to the game, a genuine allrounder with an excellent future” Paul Farbrace, Sussex head coach

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: North of 1,000 red-ball runs in Division Two; 12-15 wickets in the Blast; another Lions cap

Ollie Robinson

  • Age: 25
  • Club: Durham
  • Role: Tidy keeper; middle-order counter-puncher

Standout: 114, Durham v Derbyshire, Chester- le-Street, 2023 – A first ton of the season at better than a run-a-ball set the tone for how Durham would play as they bulldozed Division Two

What they say: “Ollie is one of the most exciting players in the country” – Ryan Campbell, Durham head coach

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: 600 red-ball runs; various catches pointedly clipped on social media; a Hundred debut

Phil Salt

  • Age: 27
  • Club: Lancashire (and several others)
  • Role: Right-hand bat, anywhere from one to six; wicketkeeper

Standout: 103, Lancashire v Hampshire, Southport, 2023 – In Salt’s first innings of the season, he hit the only ton of the game against an attack featuring three Test bowlers and, in Keith Barker, one of the best in the country not to earn the label. The knock set up victory against the side who would finish third in the table.

What they say: “Phil Salt sets the tone at the top of the innings. Jason Roy embodied it previously and Salt has taken on that mantle” Steve Finn, TNT Sports pundit

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: Lots of runs, very quickly, whenever he’s available. County Championship form to carry into a bumper T20 World Cup to lead onto who knows where.

Sikandar Raza

  • Age: 37
  • Club: Northamptonshire
  • Role: Right-hand improviser; right- arm mystery balls

Standout: 102* and 4-55, Zimbabwe v Netherlands, Harare, 2023 – Hit Zimbabwe’s fastest-ever ODI ton, reaching three figures in just 54 balls, as Zimbabwe chased down the Netherlands’ total of 316 with almost 10 overs to spare in the World Cup qualifiers

What they say: “A three-dimensional cricketer who has an impact in every game he plays” – John Sadler, Northants head coach

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: The T20 Blast’s MVP

Josh De Caires

  • Age: 21
  • Club: Middlesex
  • Role: Right-handed chip-off-the-old-blocker; developing off-break bowler

Standout: 8-106 & 2-84, Middlesex v Essex, Chelmsford, 2023 – A maiden first-class 10-wicket match haul to announce himself as a front-line spinner in the county game and earn him a spot on a Lions tour

What they say: “An important part of this Middlesex side with a really bright future ahead of him” – Alan Coleman, Middlesex director of cricket

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: 500 Championship runs and 35 wickets

Mitchell Stanley

  • Age: 23
  • Club: Lancashire
  • Role: Right-arm actual quick

Standout: 1-23, Manchester Originals v Welsh Fire, Old Trafford, 2022 – Rapid new-ball spell in his first Hundred appearance, including a wicket maiden and the scalp of Joe Clarke. Touched 92mph.

What they say: “Raw, quick, great potential” Mark Chilton, Lancashire’s director of cricket

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: White-ball blasts in the Blast, the odd eye-catcher in the Hundred; an ECB fast bowling programme gig in the winter.

John Turner

  • Age: 22
  • Club: Hampshire
  • Role: Right-arm tall and slippery

Standout: 3-17, Surrey v Hampshire, The Oval, 2023 – On a sleepy Sunday afternoon, Turner tears through Surrey's T20 top order to make the national selectors take note.

What they say: “One of those players who we expect to make a significant impact over the coming years playing for England” Rob Key, England’s managing director of cricket

Wisden Cricket Monthly prediction: An international white-ball cap; a wildcard for the winter Test squads.

For the full article, check out Wisden Cricket Monthly Issue #76.

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