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Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

County cricket fixtures released

Durham celebrate their 2009 title win
Durham have won the County Championship for the past two seasons

Durham will start the defence of their County Championship title at home to newly promoted Essex on 15 April.

The champions begin the season with the traditional opening game against MCC on a date to be finalised, with the Championship starting on 9 April.

The new ECB 40 League, which features Scotland, the Netherlands and an ECB Recreational XI, begins on 25 April.

Meanwhile, the expanded Twenty20 Cup will see the 18 counties divided into two groups in a north/south split.

The geographical allocation means that both of 2009's finalists, Somerset and Sussex, are in the southern section.

Counties will be permitted to field two overseas players in the rebranded Friends Provident T20, for which the group stages will be played in June and July, the quarter-finals on 26 & 27 July and the semi-finals and final at the Rose Bowl on 14 August.


As well as the MCC v Durham game, several counties will get their season under way with three-day games against university sides on 3 April.

The first round of Championship games on 9 April sees Warwickshire host Yorkshire and Essex entertain Hampshire in Division One, while in Division Two, Glamorgan face Sussex, Worcestershire play Middlesex, Leicestershire host Northants and Derbyshire visit Surrey.

Although the ECB 40 League (whose deregionalised groups had already been announced) starts on 25 April, the Recreational XI do not make their debut until a week later against Surrey at The Oval, while the Netherlands' first game is against Yorkshire at Headingley on 15 May, and Scotland open their account at Leicester the following day.

Group matches continue until 4 September, with the semi-finals a week later, and the majority of games will be played on Sundays.

Ireland are not taking part in county cricket this season.

A busy domestic summer of cricket - which includes tours by Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, India A, New Zealand A, New Zealand's women and Australia Under-19s - concludes in late September.

The final round of County Championship matches takes place from 13-16 September, with the ECB 40 League final at Lord's on 18 September, and England's one-day series with Pakistan continues until 22 September.


Northern division: Derbyshire, Durham, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Northants, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire

Southern division: Essex, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex


Group A: ECB Recreational XI, Glamorgan, Lancashire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex, Worcestershire

Group B: Derbyshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Middlesex, Netherlands, Northants, Yorkshire

Group C: Durham, Hampshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Scotland, Warwickshire


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see also
County ins & outs
19 May 10 |  Counties
ECB wins overseas player battle
26 Oct 09 |  Counties
Draw made for new ECB 40 League
19 Oct 09 |  Counties
Ireland opt out of county cricket
28 Sep 09 |  Ireland
Durham wrap up Championship title
12 Sep 09 |  Counties
Smith inspires Sussex to Cup win
15 Aug 09 |  Counties

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