Champions Warwickshire face First Division new-boys Derbyshire in season opener

NEWLY-PROMOTED Derbyshire will begin their LV= County Championship campaign with a trip to Edgbaston to face last season’s champions Warwickshire.

Karl Krikken’s men, who were promoted to the First Division as champions in September, get the 2013 domestic season underway on Wednesday April 10 at Warwickshire, followed by a trip to last season’s third-placed finishers Middlesex.

Then, starting on Wednesday April 24, the East Midlands battle lines will be drawn as Derbyshire host Nottinghamshire in a four-day fixture for the first time since 2007.

The rivalry has been retained in recent years via Friday night Friends Life t20 matches at a packed-out County Ground; a tradition that’s set to continue in 2013 on Friday July 5.

Head Coach Krikken said: “Gaining promotion as champions was a great effort by everyone connected with the club. We now more than ever need to pull together as a county, show how proud we are to be Derbyshire and take on the First Division without fear.”

A brace of Sunday afternoon Twenty20s at Queen’s Park in Chesterfield - the first of which pairs the Falcons with Yorkshire Carnegie on Sunday July 14 - provide a further highlight at the top and tail of a six-day festival which will also include a four-day fixture versus the white rose county.

Derbyshire Chief Executive Simon Storey added: “We couldn’t have picked a better fixture to start our home season. The match versus Nottinghamshire promises to be a terrific occasion for supporters of both clubs.

“With First Division championship cricket, two Friday night Twenty20s, a mouth-watering Chesterfield Festival and a three-day tourist match versus New Zealand to look forward to, there are plenty of opportunities for us to attract healthy crowds this season.”