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Dec 15

2016 County Cricket fixtures preview

Cricket fans have the dates for their 2016 diaries for the County Championship, which starts in April. It’s an interesting year for cricket because of the County Championship, NatWest T20 Blast and international cricket with full tours by Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The title race for the County Championship begins in earnest on Sunday April 10 with a chance to see newly promoted Surrey take on Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. This should be an interesting contest in Division One.

It will also see the start of Sussex”s slog to return to the top flight after being relegated last season. They have a trip to Northamptonshire to look forward to for their opening match, which should be an exciting one to watch.

Yorkshire’s season starts the following week, when they seek to defend their title as the holders of the county championship as they face Hampshire at Headingley. They will be hoping to get into the record books as the first team to win three consecutive County Championships since the White Rose county achieved it back in 1968.

Their close rivals Lancashire, who were promoted from Division Two in 2015, will face their first game in the top flight against Nottinghamshire at the Emirates Old Trafford ground on Sunday April 17. Their appearance in Division One will see the thrilling return of one of cricket’s most famous clashes, with the Roses Match scheduled for two four-day games at Headingley from May 29 and the Emirates Old Trafford from August 13.

Visiting Cricket Captains Given the Chance to Bat First

One important change is that the visiting captain will be offered the chance to bat first instead of having to rely on the luck of tossing a coin. This is being trialled for the year, so it will be interesting to see if it makes any difference to the game.

Cricket Increases in Popularity

Cricket is becoming an increasingly popular spectator sport, with 2.3 million people watching international and domestic cricket in England and Wales last season. This is the highest figure since the ECB was set up in 1997.

Many spectators will be tempted to renew their acquaintance with cricket or to take up the sport by joining a team. They can buy cricket equipment in London at a retail shop or online. They can find bats, balls, customised helmets, gripping tape, wickets bags and accessories among the huge range of cricket equipment in London stores and online.

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