CRICKET: Yorkshire begin title defence at home to Hampshire in April

Yorkshire's captain Andrew Gale holds the LV County Championship trophy aloft as his team celebrates victory
Yorkshire's captain Andrew Gale holds the LV County Championship trophy aloft as his team celebrates victory
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Yorkshire will the start the defence of their county championship title at home to Hampshire on April 17.

The reigning champions, who will play the traditional season curtain-raiser against an MCC XI in Abu Dhabi from March 20-23, start their Division One campaign a week after the first round of matches on April 10.

Durham entertain Somerset, Nottinghamshire welcome newly-promoted Surrey and Hampshire host Warwickshire in the opening round of fixtures

Middlesex, who finished runners-up to Yorkshire last season, also have to wait until April 17 to start their championship campaign when Warwickshire are the visitors to Lord’s.

Lancashire, back in the top flight after a one-year absence, also make a belated start to the season against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

In Division Two, Essex entertain Gloucestershire on April 10 and Worcestershire welcome Kent following their relegation from the top flight.

Sussex also suffered relegation last season and they begin life in Division Two away to Northamptonshire.

Glamorgan and Leicestershire get their championship campaigns underway in Cardiff on April 17 while Derbyshire also start out that day away to Gloucestershire.

The T20 Blast competition starts on Friday, May 20 with seven matches in total.

Holders Lancashire Lightning will be at home to Derbyshire and there are derby clashes between Nottinghamshire and Birmingham and Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

Elsewhere, Worcestershire are at home to Durham, Kent host Somerset, Surrey visit Essex and Sussex make the trip to Gloucestershire.