Not quite an Ashes series, perhaps, but this year's Midland County Championship has got a buzz on and much of the excitement is being generated by Worcestershire, who can scent their first title since 1998.
They lead the league with three wins out of three and if they can beat Warwickshire at Maxstoke Park on Sunday, they are going to take some catching.
Warwickshire, theoreticallyare still in the chase. If they win this week and then beat Shropshire & Herefordshire in October, they could snaffle the honours on points difference.
Nottinghamshire, one point behind the leaders, appear to be a bigger danger and should they see off Staffordshire at Enville on Sunday there will be a showdown at Radcliffe next month. But that's another place and another time.
Worcestershire's attention is firmly locked into Maxstoke and Andrew Boyd, the county secretary, reports an extremely high level of commitment. Which is the county's strength. "All our players are dead keen to get on the grid," he says.
Warwickshire have had to accept that their best players, notably Matt Cryer, Chris Evans and Rob Steele, have been concentrating on national events. They have no complaints about that and, in any case, believe that they have ample strength in depth.
Worcestershire, on the other hand, while they were without Joe Ferguson and Richard Gurney for their last match, have been able to field, more or less, a settled team all season.
"We've got 12 players on call and the two we've had to leave out would be good enough to get into anybody else's team," Boyd claims.
Ferguson and Gurney return this week, conveniently because Anthony Hill is on holiday and Matt Brooksand has returned to university in the United States.
Worcestershire put their success this year to the winter get-togethers that were arranged for the first and second teams.
There were meetings at driving ranges followed by evening meals and all this had a strong bonding effect. "A lot of strength and resolve came out of it," said Boyd. "But apart from that, we do have some very good players. And they are all up for this match."
They will probably need to be. "We've got a score to settle," says Warwickshire's captain, Andy Kearns, mindful of the fact that Worcestershire won this fixture last year.
There has been a significant shift in selection policy in that, although Cryer is still unavailable, Steele and Evans are on county call again. "Their big stuff's finished, " Kearns explains.
In all, there are six men playing their first county games of the season and so influenced is Kearns by thoughts of home advantage that he has six Maxstoke members in his team. "They know the course quite well," he said, somewhat unnecessarily. "But, in any case, they all deserve a chance.
"We've given Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire a bit of an advantage but they've still got to play each other and we can still win as many points as last year, when we won the title. "We'll see what we can do this week."
Staffordshire's captain, Sean Randle, admits to a feeling of sadness that his county have not shown themselves to better effect. But Randle has led a side in transition and there are signs that the groundwork is beginning to bring benefits.
Three juniors, Miles Frost, who has achieved a handicap of plus-2, Chris Crane and Jack Hemsley step up for their debut matches against Nottinghamshire at Enville on Sunday and Randle believes that he could be handing over a promising team to the incoming captain, Andy Guy.
WARWICKSHIRE: P Randle, D Hayes, B Senior, B Stafford, C Evans, R Browning, A Gascoigne, S Foster, A Sullivan, R Steele. Worcestershire: J Ferguson, R Gurney, A Norman, C Healey, M Pates, S Clarke, P Scarrett, C Bromley, T Pulling, L Rogers. STAFFORDSHIRE: R Pheasant, D Porter, N Johnson, A Guy, P Griffiths, S Hemming, J McKnight, J Hemsley, M Frost, C Crane.