As the start of an English season that is set to feature more associate cricketers in county cricket than there perhaps has ever been, it is time to look back at how those cricketers and national teams have done in domestic cricket in the other Test playing nations.
Out of the nine ICC full member nations that have domestic seasons during this period, only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have not featured a player from a non-Test nation or a non-Test national team in their domestic cricket at some level.
A handful of associate cricketers played at various levels of grade cricket in Australia, though the highest profile matches came for the combined East Asia-Pacific team when they competed in the Australian Country Cricket Championship for the fifth consecutive year in January.
Unfortunately the weather in Mackay, Queensland didn't hold up, and only three of the scheduled matches were completed. The EAP team lost all three completed matches on first innings, though there were some decent individual performances, especially from Papua New Guinea's John Ovia.
Ovia scored 75 against Western Australia and an unbeaten 119 against Queensland, gaining selection for the Australian Country XI along with Cook Islands player Dunu Eliaba. They did not get the opportunity to play for them however, as the scheduled match against the full Queensland team was rained off along with the second week of the tournament.
The associate involvement in Indian domestic cricket wasn't in competitions approved by the BCCI, but was instead in the "rebel" Indian Cricket League. Irish internationals Niall O'Brien and Boyd Rankin were in the squads for the Delhi Jets and Kolkata Tigers respectively.
Their involvement didn't meet with much success however. Rankin's sole involvement was bowling one over for fourteen runs in a warm-up match against the (inappropriately named, as they finished last) Mumbai Champs.
O'Brien played four matches in the tournament proper, batting in three of them. He only scored a total of 20 runs, his highest score of 14 coming against Kolkata Tigers in the third place play-off. He also picked up one catch and one stumping, though he had to share wicket-keeping duties with Paul Nixon. Last month, he became the only ICL player to play an official ODI since the tournament started when he toured Bangladesh with Ireland.
Canadian international Geoff Barnett continued to play for Central Districts in the 2007/08 New Zealand season, though it was his worst season to date. In first-class cricket, he scored only 72 runs in five matches at an average of 8 and a top score of 19.
He fared a little better in the one-day competition, scoring 176 runs in seven matches at 25.14. His top score of 75 came against Wellington in the opening match of the season. He was ever present in the State Twenty20, and scored 36 from just 15 balls in the final against Northern Districts to help lead his team to a five wicket win.
The Afghanistan national side played in the second tier of Pakistani domestic cricket again during the 2007/08 season, finished last in the Peshawar region, though they did beat Lower Dir by 91 runs. Later, two Afghani players would play first-class and List A cricket for Pakistan Customs.
Hameed Hasan made his first-class debut against Lahore Ravi in November, taking 1/48 in the first innings. He didn't bowl in the second. He took another wicket in his second match against the National Bank of Pakistan, but went for a total of 161 runs in the match. He fared much better in the one-day ABN-AMRO Cup, taking five wickets at 27.40 with a best of 2/35 against Faislalabad Wolves.
Mohammad Nabi, already with first-class experience after playing for the MCC against Sri Lanka A in 2007, also played for Pakistan Customs. Like his fellow Afghani, he was without much success in the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, but played well in the ABN-AMRO Cup. He averaged 54.66 in his four matches in that tournament, scoring an unbeaten 112 against Karachi Zebras.
There were no associate players involved in South African domestic cricket, but Namibia did play in the second tier first-class and List A tournaments for the second season running. They could not repeat their 2006/07 performance, where they just missed out on the three-day final and one-day semi-finals, finishing last in the three-day tournament and ahead of only Zimbabwe Provinces in the one-day tournament.
Sri Lanka was the second country to find a home for Afghanistan internationals, with three playing in the Premier Limited Overs Tournament. Raees Ahmadzi and Hasti Gul both played for the Sebastianites Cricket and Athletic Club, whilst Shapoor Zadran played for the Badureliya Sports Club.
Ahmadiz played two matches, averaging 27 with the bat and taking one wicket. Gul played just once, scoring 12 and bowling three wicketless overs. Shappor Zadran also played just once, and was out for a duck, also bowling seven overs for 37 runs.
The West Indies featured two associate and two affiliate teams in the Stanford 20/20 tournament. There would have been a third affiliate had Allen Stanford not been prevented from dealing with Cuba due to the US trade embargo. All four fell at the first hurdle, with Bermuda being particularly embarrassing after a nine wicket defeat to Guyana in which they could score only 62/9 in their 20 overs.