LV= County Champions Yorkshire will begin the defence of their trophy, which they commandingly won last season, with an away trip to Worcestershire’s New Road on Sunday April 12th.
The announcement of the 2015 fixtures, delayed by a day due to the death of Australian batsmen Phil Hughes, has given Yorkshire a tricky trip to a side that will be full of confidence following their promotion from Division two last season.
The fixtures do not get any easier as Yorkshire face 2014 Division one runners-up Warwickshire at Headingley on Sunday April 26th followed by another newly promoted side, 2014 Division two Champions Hampshire, on Sunday 10th May at Headingley.
This is sure to be a challenging time for the White Rose county as they bid to make a strong start to their defence with four Championship games taking place within the first month of the season. A good start is imperative as this period could define how the season progresses in the four day format.
Yorkshire will hope to have as many of their England players available as possible but without them Yorkshire have a very strong squad and should be able to cope with the demands placed upon them.
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Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale is clearly looking forward to the start of his sides defence when he spoke to Yorkshire’s website: “It is going to be a competitive start and with four Championship matches in the opening month of the campaign it is imperative that we get off to a good start. We showed last season that a positive can drive momentum for the rest of the season.
“I think the standard of cricket will improve in 2015. Every county in the top-flight will be looking to put in their best performances when they play us. That will always happen when you are the strongest county and we will be fully aware of the pressures on us going into the season.”
Prior to the start of the County Championship season Yorkshire will participate in the now traditional curtain-raiser to the season when the County Champions take on the MCC in Abu Dhabi, starting on Sunday March 22nd. This will be followed by a three-day first-class game against Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Headingley which begins on Tuesday 7th April.
Clearly all at Yorkshire are keen to begin the new season with a bang particularly after such a successful and commanding Championship season last year. Although Division one will be as strong as ever next season Yorkshire will once again be the team to beat but I see no reason why they shouldn’t defend their title.