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  1. ITV Report

County Championship: Champions Essex to begin title defence at Yorkshire

Essex won the County Championship trophy for the first time in 25 years last season. Credit: PA

Essex will begin the defence of their County Championship title with an away game at Yorkshire.

It will be familiar surroundings for new Head Coach Anthony McGrath who spent the entirety of his playing career at Headingley.

That match will take place on April 13, before Essex host Lancashire at Chelmsford the following week.

They will round off April with another away fixture against Hampshire, while their Division One campaign will draw to a close at Surrey in late September.

Essex went through the whole 2017 season unbeaten under former coach Chris Silverwood who has since taken up a job as England's new bowling coach.

Essex were unbeaten in The County Championship in 2017. Credit: PA

Essex County Championship fixtures

  • Yorkshire (A) - 13 April
  • Lancashire (H) - 20 April
  • Hampshire (A) - 27 April
  • Yorkshire (H) - 4 May
  • Worcestershire (A) - 11 May
  • Lancashire (A) - 9 June
  • Nottinghamshire (H) - 20 June
  • Somerset (H) - 25 June
  • Somerset (A) - 19 August
  • Hampshire (H) - 29 August
  • Surrey (H) - 4 September
  • Nottinghamshire (A) - 10 September
  • Worcestershire (H) - 18 September
  • Surrey (A) - 24 September
Ben Duckett will once again be a key player for Northamptonshire. Credit: PA

In Division Two, there's an opening day fixture for Northamptonshire to savour as they head to Lord's to take on newly-relegated Middlesex.

Their first home tie will be against Warwickshire on April 20, and their last game of the campaign is also at Wantage Road - this time to Sussex on September 24.

Northamptonshire County Championship fixtures

  • Middlesex (A) - 13 April
  • Warwickshire (H) - 20 April
  • Durham (H) - 27 April
  • Warwickshire (A) - 11 May
  • Leicestershire (H) - 9 June
  • Gloucestershire (H) - 20 June
  • Glamorgan (A) - 25 June
  • Derbyshire (A) - 22 July
  • Middlesex (H) - 19 August
  • Durham (A) - 29 August
  • Kent (A) - 4 September
  • Derbyshire (H) - 10 September
  • Gloucestershire (A) - 18 September
  • Sussex (H) - 24 September