ECB stick with tried and tested as 2015 fixtures announced

ECB stick with tried and tested as 2015 fixtures announced

The season will start with the traditional curtain-raiser in Abu Dhabi on March 22nd

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County Championship holders Yorkshire will begin the defence of their crown in the opening week of the 2015 campaign, with their trip to Worcestershire one of six games to kick off the new season, after the fixtures were announced today.

The new season will get underway six days later than in 2014, with Sussex’s trip to Hampshire and Middlesex hosting Nottinghamshire amongst the curtain-raisers on Sunday, April 12th. Those who don’t feature in the first week get their campaigns under-way exactly a week later, when recently relegated Lancashire get their season up and running with a visit to Derbyshire.

Having been revamped last season, the ever-complex schedule bears little change from the previous year, with the County Championship and Natwest T20 Blast sharing priorities for the opening half of the season, with most first-class games starting on Sundays.

Once again, the Blast is given Friday night treatment for almost 70% of the group stage fixtures, which culminate on Friday, July 24 – one day before the Royal London One-Day Cup gets underway with Northamptonshire hosting Durham and Warwickshire visiting Trent Bridge to face Nottinghamshire on the opening day.

The Blast does have some minor changes, however, with Middlesex abandoning the double-header at Lord’s that began a poor season on the pitch in the shortest format, whilst the four quarter-finals have been spread across four different days between Wednesday, August 12 and Saturday, August 15, before Finals Day rounds off the competition on Saturday, August 29 at Edgbaston. With England involved in a Twenty20 International two days later, the availability of some players for the three-game extravaganza could be in doubt.

Lord’s will once again showcase the One-Day Cup final on Saturday, September 19, with the final round of Championship fixtures kicking off three days later, where Somerset’s home tie with Warwickshire could be a potential title-decider.

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What do you think of the 2015 Fixtures? Let us know in the comments section below and on Twitter @deepextra_cover using #countyfixtures

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