Warwickshire start title defence at home

PA Sport
County champions Warwickshire will start their 2013 campaign against Derbyshire on April 10
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County champions Warwickshire will start their 2013 campaign against Derbyshire on April 10

LV= County Championship title-holders Warwickshire will start the defence of their crown with a home fixture against newly-promoted Derbyshire.

The 2013 county fixtures have tasked Jim Troughton's men with taking on Derbyshire on April 10 after the traditional season-opener against the MCC in Abu Dhabi.

Warwickshire coach Ashley Giles told Sky Sports News: "We've already stepped up our preparations. We've been back since the first week in November doing fitness testing, with a little bit of cricket going on. Like last season when we finished second, we started early and planned well and that's what we're doing again. There is no chance of us resting on our laurels."

Elsewhere on the opening day in Division One, Durham take on Somerset, while Yorkshire, also promoted, are at home to Sussex.

Nottinghamshire take on Middlesex, with Surrey's campaign starting a week later against Somerset.

In Division Two, 2011 county champions Lancashire start life in the second tier on April 10 at home to Worcestershire, the side who went down with them, while Hampshire meet Leicestershire, Essex play Gloucestershire and Glamorgan - bottom of the pile in 2012 - host Northamptonshire. Kent take on Leicestershire the week after.

The season draws to an end in September, with Warwickshire closing at Derbyshire in a match starting on the 24th.

In limited-overs cricket, Hampshire - dramatic final-ball winners of the Clydesdale Bank 40 Final against Warwickshire - begin against Essex on May 3.

The Hawks also lifted the Friends Life t20 trophy and will look to start a successful defence against Surrey on June 26. The quarter-finals will be staged on August 6, 7 and 8, with finals day penned in for Edgbaston on August 17.

The CB40 will again feature Scotland, the Netherlands and the Unicorns joining the 18 first-class counties, with the final scheduled for Lord's on September 21.

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