A look at the 2017 fixtures

Friday 25th November 2016
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Vice President, David Griffin, takes us through the 2017 fixtures which includes historic day/night first-class games, the return of the West Indies to Derby and a new compact NatWest T20 Blast competition. 

The first thing to note about the 2017 fixtures list is that it doesn’t include the interminable, long haul back to back journeys which have typified recent seasons.

This is largely due to the reduction in four day cricket which has taken eight days of red ball cricket out of the season, leaving larger gaps between the majority of the matches.

However, the balance of the season also appears much better than of late; in 2016, almost all of Derbyshire’s long distance away fixtures had been completed before mid-June, whereas in 2017, they’re spread throughout the campaign.

The season begins with a game against Loughborough MCCU before the Specsavers County Championship opener against Northamptonshire. The last time our opener was against Northants was in 2012, a game Derbyshire won, and subsequently went on to win promotion.

A further four-day game follows – at Canterbury against Kent – before the Royal London One-Day Cup competition commences with another long trip to Chester-le-Street to take on Durham. Within the following three weeks, all eight of the zonal 50-over games will have been completed before, once again, County Championship takes centre stage with a home fixture against Worcestershire.

In fact, this game launches a run of nine days cricket in just 11 days at The 3aaa County Ground as Leicestershire make the short journey for another four-day game, followed by a limited overs tour match against South Africa A on Spring Bank Holiday Monday.

As we go into June, County Championship cricket continues apace as we travel down the A52 to meet Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, followed by a trip to Wantage Road to face Northamptonshire.

Two weeks in mid-June are then relatively barren; the first is set aside for the Royal London quarter finals and semi-finals, and the second sees no first team cricket for Derbyshire at all.

Midsummer arrives with a journey into Wales for another four-day game, this year at The SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff against Glamorgan for the county’s first ever day/night first-class game.

July begins with the Royal London One-Day Cup final at Lord’s – a throwback to the days when the Benson & Hedges Final was traditionally played mid-season – before Derbyshire decamps to Chesterfield for the week.

The Custom Solar Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council, opens with a four-day game against Durham, the first time since 1994 that the two sides will have met in a first-class game at this venue, and after a day at Northampton to start Derbyshire’s NatWest T20 Blast campaign, the festival resumes on the Saturday with an eagerly-anticipated Twenty20 game against Yorkshire. Despite this fixture moving from the traditional Sunday to Saturday, it is sure to be a sell-out once more.

Twenty20 cricket then dominates the fixtures list for a while with four consecutive away fixtures, resulting from the ICC Women’s World Cup games being played at The 3aaa County Ground.

However, as July ends, Twenty20 cricket arrives at Derby for the first time in 2017 with the Tuesday night visit of Lancashire, before two games at home in the space of three days against Northamptonshire and Leicestershire.

Nottinghamshire arrive at Derby at the start of August. This fixture is always a highlight of the calendar and – like the Yorkshire game at Chesterfield – likely to sell-out.

Early August also sees the return four-day fixture with Nottinghamshire which is followed by a three-day tour match against the West Indies.

The West Indies last played Derbyshire in 2007 in the Club’s – to date – only Twenty20 game against a touring side. Derbyshire won that game by 51 runs in front of almost 5,000 spectators against a side captained by Chris Gayle and featuring future Derbyshire batsman, Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Their last visit for a first-class game was in 2004.

Mid-August sees the return of Twenty20 cricket and the final three group matches, followed quickly by the quarter finals.

Championship cricket then takes centre stage once more with a visit to Chester-le-Street to play relegated Durham, before Derbyshire meet Glamorgan at Derby in early September.

One can only hope that the September weather of 2016 is repeated in 2017 as there are four games crammed into the final month of the season. Hove is the next stop, followed by Kent back at HQ, before the season concludes with a journey down the M5 to meet Gloucestershire at Bristol.

As I type these words on a dismal November day, with the wind lashing the rain against the windows, it is difficult to imagine warm, sunny days around the highways and byways of county cricket, but the release of the fixtures list is a reminder that it’s getting closer. Roll on April 2017.

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