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2016 Fixtures Preview by David Griffin

Sunday 6th December 2015
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Vice-President and life-long Derbyshire Member, David Griffin, looks at the 2016 fixtures.

For those of us who travel the highways and byways of the UK watching our team, the 2016 fixtures list brings some welcome relief from the interminable grind of motorways and hotels which came to define the 2015 season.

With the exception of the four-day match against Sussex at Hove which begins the morning after a late NatWest T20 Blast finish at Northampton (and at least Northampton is on the way to Hove), the fixtures are much more logically spaced next season.

The first seven County Championship games of the campaign start on a Sunday, offering a degree of consistency to the first half of the season, with Derbyshire’s opener at Bristol against Gloucestershire where the visitors will be hoping for a repeat of the comprehensive victory in 2015, when Martin Guptill scored a superb 227.

NatWest T20 Blast cricket for Derbyshire begins with two away fixtures before Leicestershire arrive at The 3aaa County Ground on Friday 3 June for the first of four Friday evening floodlit encounters.

Midsummer’s Day on Friday 24 June will see our near-neighbours, Notts Outlaws, at The 3aaa County Ground for what is usually a sell-out game, and Birmingham Bears will also visit Derby a week earlier in front of what is likely to be another big crowd.

With cricket played on fewer outgrounds, it’s rare for me to get the opportunity to visit new grounds these days, but after two new ones in 2015 (Southport and Guildford), there are two more in 2016 with welcome fixtures at Welbeck Colliery and Colwyn Bay.

The Royal London One-Day Cup competition gives Derbyshire followers an opportunity to hop over the border for a high summer fixture against Nottinghamshire at Welbeck Colliery on Sunday 24 July. Nottinghamshire used this ground in 2015 for two 50-over games and it will be interesting to see what sort of crowd this game attracts.

And, nestling in the middle of the season, from 17 to 20 July, is a welcome trip to the Penrhyn Avenue Ground at Colwyn Bay to play Glamorgan.

This is sure to be a ‘must visit’ fixture for Derbyshire’s regular band of travellers, and others. Derbyshire last played at Colwyn Bay in 1966 – our only fixture there, in fact – when Glamorgan won by 63 runs, despite Derek Morgan’s match figures of 9-92 from 54 overs.

Before that, however, the Chesterfield Festival of Cricket begins with a NatWest T20 Blast game against Northants Steelbacks who will also provide the opposition in the four-day game which begins on the following day, while the Festival concludes with the traditional NatWest T20 Blast match versus Yorkshire – which sold out in advance in 2015.

For the first time since 2011, Derbyshire will conclude the season with an away game, at New Road, Worcester, and as I write this, looking out of the window at high winds driving the heavy rain almost horizontally, it’s difficult to imagine the sun shining on that lovely ground.

But the season is not that far away; it might not feel like it but the release of the fixtures is always a reminder that it’s getting closer. Roll on April 2016.

Membership for 2016 is on sale NOW. Buy before February 1st Early Bird deadline and SAVE! Purchase online at derbyshireccc.com, in person at The 3aaa County Ground or by calling 0871 350 1870.

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