Surrey to begin title defence against Essex

Surrey to begin title defence against Essex

Specsavers County Championship winners Surrey will begin the defence of their title against Essex.

The fixtures for the 2019 domestic season were announced on Tuesday with the Championship and One-Day Cup games the first to be revealed.

Surrey, who swept to the title last season by winning a remarkable 10 of their 14 matches, host Essex on April 11 – which is the second round of Championship matches.

Division Two champions Warwickshire begin their return to the top flight by facing Kent in the second round, while newly-promoted Kent take on Somerset at Taunton a week earlier on April 5.

Lancashire start life in the second tier following relegation by with a trip to Middlesex – coached by former Red Rose star Stuart Law – and also-relegated Worcestershire face Leicestershire.

As part of the changes to the structure of the County Championship that were announced after the season, 2019 will see three teams promoted from Division Two with just the one relegated from Division One.

The fixtures also reveal a number of exciting outground matches as the Test venues juggle a hectic schedule that will of course include the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Yorkshire will play two County Championship fixtures at Scarborough, with Surrey visiting in June and Nottinghamshire in August.

There is also a second Championship outground for the White Rose with a June clash against Warwickshire at York.

Hampshire will play a fixture on the Isle of Wight in May when they take on Nottinghamshire in May – which will be the first first-class fixture on the ground since 1962.

Lancashire also return to Liverpool for a Championship match for the first time in five years, hosting Leicestershire in June.

Reigning Royal London One-Day Cup champions Hampshire start their title defence against Kent – in a repeat of last season’s final.

The One-Day Cup has been moved further forward in the schedule for 2019, with the final taking place on May 25 at Lord’s.

Middlesex face Surrey at the Oval on April 25, while Lancashire and Yorkshire renew their Roses rivalry at Headingley on April 21.

The last two winners of the Vitality Blast will meet on the opening night of the competition, when Nottinghamshire welcome Worcestershire to Trent Bridge on July 18.

On the same evening Somerset will take on Glamorgan and Middlesex face Essex.

The much-anticipated Roses matches will take place at Headingley on July 25 and at Old Trafford on August 9.

Other notable matches include a clash between Surrey and Middlesex at the Oval on July 23 and the game between Birmingham and Worcestershire at Edgbaston on August 23.

The group stages run up until August 30, with the quarterfinals being played in early September.

All of this before the showpiece event of Finals day on September 21st.

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