Derbyshire will meet Middlesex for the first time since 2013, whilst Derby hosts a day/night Specsavers County Championship match and an eagerly anticipated trip to Swansea comes later in the season.
Heritage Officer, David Griffin, takes a look at the 2018 fixtures.
Derbyshire only met Gloucestershire once in the Specsavers County Championship in 2017, in the final game of the season at Bristol. And in 2018, the sides again only meet once, and again it’s the final fixture of the season, although on this occasion, it’s at The 3aaa County Ground.
Derbyshire also meet Sussex once – at Hove, the setting for Hardus Viljoen’s record-breaking and match-winning 15-wicket haul in 2017.
Warwickshire, relegated from Division One won’t be seen at Derby in four-day cricket, while Derbyshire won’t be making what is usually their longest trip of the summer, to Canterbury to play Kent.
However, the 2018 list looks well-organised and after a friendly season-opener at Weetwood Sports Park in Leeds against Leeds/Bradford MCCU, Derbyshire take on Middlesex at The 3aaa County Ground in April.
This will be Middlesex’s first visit to Derby since the two sides met as Division One sides in August 2013, when Derbyshire recorded a 56-run victory thanks to an unbeaten century by Wayne Madsen and seven wickets in the match from Mark Footitt.
Derbyshire then play two away games without setting foot outside the Midlands – firstly at Leicester and then Edgbaston. It’s then back to headquarters to play Durham so that by the 14 May, a quarter of the Specsavers County Championship campaign is completed.
Derbyshire then return to Edgbaston to kick off their Royal London One-Day Cup challenge, which sees eight games played over 22 days across the last fortnight in May and the first week in June. The group is again regionalised, with home fixtures against Durham, Lancashire, Leicestershire and Yorkshire, and away games against Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, with the final group game at Trent Bridge, against the current holders, Nottinghamshire.
As mid-summer approaches, Derbyshire take an almost 200-mile trek to St Helen’s, Swansea for the first time since 2003. Swansea was a regular haunt for Derbyshire in the 1970s and 1980s, when they played there in seven first-class fixtures in just 18 years, and it will undoubtedly be one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures for Derbyshire’s band of regular travellers.
Derbyshire then take on Leicestershire at The 3aaa County Ground in a first day/night Specsavers County Championship game in Derby, before spectators get their first glimpse of Derbyshire’s T20 Blast side for 2018 in their opening clash against Lancashire at Derby. The initial games come thick and fast, home and away, with Nottinghamshire due at The 3aaa County Ground on Friday 13 July in a contest usually watched by a sell-out partisan crowd.
Chesterfield then gets in on the act as the Custom Solar Chesterfield Festival of Cricket opens with a four-day fixture against Northamptonshire starting on Sunday 22 July. And on Saturday 28 July, the festival concludes as Yorkshire once more make the short journey down the M1.
The final six group games then come in a cluster, ending with a visit to Emirates Riverside to play Durham.
After a late-night journey back to Derbyshire, it’ll be time for more red ball cricket as Derbyshire will make a pit-stop at Derby before travelling down to Hove to see if they can repeat their thrilling victory there in 2017 before returning to Derby for back-to-back four-day games against Kent and Glamorgan.
A trip to Northampton is followed by a first visit since 2013 to the Home of Cricket at Lord’s. The game begins on 18 September, and this will be the latest Derbyshire has ever played an away fixture against Middlesex, the previous latest being the game which began on 15 September in 2009, at Uxbridge.
To round things off, Gloucestershire come to The 3aaa County Ground, and Derbyshire will be hoping for a repeat of the final game in 2017, when they defeated the same county at Bristol.
Price freeze for 2018. Club Membership will once again offer one great value pherice for all in 2018. Join today for only £139, if purchased before 1st February Early Bird deadline.