Beat The Duke:
With Andy Afford

Featured News | 9th April 2013

As the nation prepares for the dawn of the 2013 LV= County Championship, one man faces a very different challenge to the likes of Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Ed Cowan. Nottinghamshire's first eleven scorer Roger 'The Duke' Marshall must find his multi-coloured pen set, ruler and abacus and prepare for six months of intense concentration, tea making and biscuit eating.

This year, an additional duty has been bestowed upon him. Ahead of each round of fixtures, he will be pitched against a Nottinghamshire illuminary in a prediction challenge. You can join in by tweeting your predictions with the hashtag #beattheduke with prizes on offer for competitors and champion tipsters.

This week, 2012 champions Warwickshire face newly-promoted Derbyshire. Somerset travel north to face a strong Durham squad whilst the other promoted side, Yorkshire, face Sussex who could be struggling this season. Finally, Nottinghamshire kick off the season at home to Middlesex in a clash of two of the top teams in 2012.

The Challenger - Andy Afford

Andy Afford is a former professional sportsman, an APA International Publishing Awards Judge. Also a guitarist for Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations, a rock covers band fronted by England cricketer Graeme Swann.

He consults as commissioning sports editor on Sky Quarterly, Britain’s largest magazine. Using Trent Bridge’s press box as his office for six months of the year so he doesn’t have to travel to London, he knows plenty about Championship cricket.

The Challenger’s Predictions

Warwickshire v Derbyshire
With one side champions of division one and the other the surprise package of division two, it is hard to see past the reigning champions. I am going for an easy Warwickshire win.

Durham v Somerset
I believe this game is going to be drowned by the weather meaning I am going for a draw.

Yorkshire v Sussex
I am loathed to say a home win is a possibility so I am going to go with an easy Sussex win.

Nottinghamshire v Middlesex
This should be a good clash and whilst Nottinghamshire will have the upper hand the weather will have the deciding say. Draw.

The Duke’s Predictions

Warwickshire v Derbyshire
You would be a fool not to back a home win, and an easy one at that. I totally agree with Aff on this. Home win.

Durham v Somerset
I believe a result is possible in this game and with Durham changing a number of players I am going for a Somerset win.

Yorkshire v Sussex
I disagree with Aff here as I see Sussex having a real struggle this year. They are bound to end up proving me wrong but I am going for a home win.

Nottinghamshire v Middlesex
Again I would have to agree that weather will be the deciding factor even though Notts will have the upper hand over the four days. Draw.

A point will be awarded for each correct prediction and we start all-square: The Duke 0 - 0 The People

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