Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall has been ruled out of the opening game of the season.
The LV= County Championship campaign will get under way tomorrow with a trip to Derbyshire.
But the County will do so without their skipper who has not recovered from a calf injury in time.
He will definitely miss the trip to Derby and will almost certainly also be unavailable for the first home game which is against Kent a week later.
David Sales will lead the side in Hall’s absence – although head coach David Capel believes there are several people in the side who could have taken on the role.
There is no named vice-captain at the club but Sales was County captain between 2004 and 2007 and knows the role well.
Capel said: “He (Hall) is not likely to make the start and it’s quite likely it will be two games.
“The sensible approach would be for it to be two matches and then bring him back gently in the university game (against Durham MCCU starting April 20).
“We’ve thought long and hard about who should take over the leadership and there are a few candidates.
“Alex Wakely has got some skills in that area and we’re certainly looking at him in the long-term.
“I’m not going to name everyone because there are a few we considered.
“But we’ve got several who don’t necessarily need the stripes on their shoulders to be leading.
“David Sales is in good form and I see his beaming face smiling at me every day and he is the natural choice.
“When I asked him if he would like the opportunity he was very positive. Well, he didn’t take any time thinking about it put it that way.
“I think it is a good pair of hands to take it for a couple of games.”