Express & Star

Worcestershire to face Warwickshire in tasty County Championship opener

Worcestershire will begin life back in Division One of the County Championship with a derby clash against Warwickshire.

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The Pears, back in the top flight for the first time since 2018, make the short trip to Edgbaston for the season opener which starts on Thursday, April 6.

It kickstarts another hectic summer of domestic cricket, which will also see County Championship matches played in August alongside The Hundred competition.

The 50-over Metro Bank One Day Cup will also be played that month, with Warwickshire exploring the possibility of playing three of their seven home group fixtures away from Edgbaston. It would be the first time since 2013 the Bears have played at another ground in the county.

“Members have been asking for a while if we could explore the possibility of playing some games at an out ground in Warwickshire and we’re hoping to do this in 2024,” explained chief executive Stuart Cain.

“More information on ticketing and logistics will be provided if we find a suitable venue.

“We saw from our trip to Neath last year to play Glamorgan, these are great occasions, a real festival atmosphere, and an opportunity to bring the club closer to the community.”

While the inclusion of County Championship matches in August, with one round taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend, will be welcomed by supporters who have long complained at the lack of red ball cricket during the school holidays, the four-day game still remains largely on the fringes of the summer.

Warwickshire will have completed half of their Championship matches by the end of May, while the Bears have 13 days of red ball cricket scheduled for September. Their season concludes with a trip to Nottinghamshire for a four day fixture starting on September 26.

The heart of the summer is again dominated by limited overs formats, with the T20 Vitality Blast beginning at the end of May.

Worcestershire host the Bears at New Road in that competition on Friday, June 21, with the return fixture taking place at Edgbaston on Friday, July 12.