@JoeWilliams: Interesting as ever to hear others' assessments. I've seen John Simpson a couple of times in each of the last few seasons and he's rarely let Middlesex down. I have a similar view of Hodd although, like most of Yorkshire's side, he's had an unimpressive few months. I think Ben Brown is one of the most underestimated cricketers in the game
Paul Edwards at Lancashire v Essex
No play before lunch here but the supersoppers etc. are trundling about, thus suggesting there is some chance of play later in the day.
English cricket may be a little short of high-class batsmen at the moment but is there any department of the game in which the country is more richly endowed than wicketkeepers or, more specifically, wicketkeeper-batsmen. I give you the following: Hodd, Davies (A&S), Buttler, Read, Foster, Foakes, Cox, Brown, Simpson, Ambrose, McManus, Billings. I truly believe any of those could do a decent job in the Test side and one or two, of course, have had the opportunity in the past or will get a chance in the near future. I do not argue they are better picks than Jonny Bairstow; I'm just making a general point. It is the sort of thing cricket writers do when they have watched more rain than enough.