While the eagerly awaited return of the Derbyshire versus Yorkshire fixture at Chesterfield in the County Championship will be a highlight for many, there is plenty to whet the appetite for the 2023 season, even in the depths of a dark, damp November day.
Heritage Officer David Griffin takes a look at the newly released 2023 fixtures list.
The last time Derbyshire met Yorkshire in four day cricket was in 2013 after both sides had been promoted a year earlier to the first division of the championship.
Double hundreds were to the fore as Chesney Hughes (270*) and Joe Root (236) made hay during the game at Headingley, before Alex Lees (275*) produced a superb innings in the return game at Chesterfield as Yorkshire won both fixtures.
Chesterfield is the natural home for this fixture having staged 70 of the 105 home games between the two counties, Derbyshire last winning there by 40 runs in 1991 to seal third place in the championship.
And for the first time since that summer, Derbyshire and Yorkshire will also meet at Scarborough. The sides have clashed there in one day cricket more recently, but it will be 32 years since they last played at North Marine Road in a championship game.
There will be a friendly to kick the season off, starting on 1 April, when Durham UCCE come to Derby. This will be the 16th non first-class game against a UCCE or MCCU, and the third against Durham following the win (by 65 runs) in 2013, and a draw in 2016.
Derbyshire will play Worcestershire at the Incora County Ground in their opening game of the championship beginning on 6th April. Only twice has a championship season begun earlier; a day earlier in fact, in 2012 and 2019.
By the middle of May Derbyshire will have completed five games, including Leicestershire home and away, Durham at Chester-le-Street, and Gloucestershire at Derby.
Their next game is sure to be the most eagerly anticipated in red ball cricket as the Chesterfield Festival gets underway on Sunday 11th June against Yorkshire, and June is rounded off with a trip to New Road to face Worcestershire.
Derbyshire will be on the road again in the second week of July, visiting the south coast to face Sussex at Hove before back to back home fixtures at Derby against Durham and Glamorgan.
County Championship cricket resumes in early September with the visit to Scarborough followed quickly by the county’s first trip to Bristol since they defeated Gloucestershire there in the T20 quarter final in 2019. Sussex are then the last side to visit Derby before the season concludes in the Welsh capital, the game against Glamorgan scheduled to end on 29th September.
50 Over Competition
August is once again the month for limited overs cricket and Derbyshire begin their 50-overs campaign against Gloucestershire on their first visit to the Cheltenham College Ground since 1997.
Home games follow against Glamorgan and Sussex before two away fixtures, against Durham at Chester-le-Street, and Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Three matches in five days conclude the group stages with home games against Somerset and Worcestershire sandwiching an away fixture at Northampton.
Somerset last played a List A game in Derbyshire back in 2006 when Travis Birt’s 108 saw Derbyshire to a comprehensive win by seven wickets in a NatWest Pro40 League game under the floodlights at Derby.
Derbyshire enter new territory as they begin their T20 campaign with a home fixture at Edgbaston against Lancashire. This game will feature as part of a double-header ‘Blast Off’ designed to give the launch of the competition greater attention with both games being televised.
The matches against Nottinghamshire are both scheduled for a Friday night which should ensure large crowds at both Derby and Trent Bridge, while the Yorkshire fixture at Chesterfield has returned to Sunday afternoon after several seasons of being staged on a Saturday.
As is the norm, with nine counties and 14 fixtures, Derbyshire miss out on playing two counties twice – Durham and Worcestershire, the same two counties they also only faced once in 2022.
The early part of the season sees one game less for Derbyshire than in the corresponding period in 2022, but the final month of the season sees four matches in 2023 compared to three in 2022.
August remains a month of only eight days scheduled cricket – all limited overs – with just four days of cricket at home.
There is a proposed 50 over warm-up game against Lincolnshire – away – on 30 June, and there is always the possibility of more friendly fixtures in late March as per 2022.
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