Durham first visitors to Headingley as review causes fixtures delay

YORKSHIRE are set to open their 2011 County Championship campaign away to Worcestershire.

The club have received a provisional fixture list from the England and Wales Cricket Board ahead of the official announcement expected on Tuesday.

Yorkshire are due to visit New Road on Friday, April 8, with their first Championship home match scheduled to take place against Durham at Headingley Carnegie (April 14-17).

The only other provisional fixtures revealed by Yorkshire at this stage are their home meetings against Sussex in the Championship at Scarborough (August 17-20), followed by a CB40 game against the same opponents at North Marine Road on August 21.

The Yorkshire Post understands the return CB 40 match is likely to be a floodlit encounter at Hove on July 27, with the Championship away game against Sussex pencilled in to begin on May 29.

Richard Kaye, Yorkshire's sales and marketing director, said the club were generally satisfied with the provisional list.

"We've got a couple of issues we're trying to work through, but, overall, we're pretty happy with the situation," he said.

"We will know by the end of the week what recommendations we're going to go back to the ECB with, but we can certainly live with the draft list we've received.

"The ECB intend to announce the full fixtures on Tuesday,

although that could be later

depending on the various recommendations of the counties.

"But they should certainly be published sometime next week."

Yorkshire and their county brethren received a draft fixture schedule at the start of the week. Normally, the fixtures would have been out well before now, but they have been delayed by a comprehensive review of the domestic structure.

The outcome of that process was that the present system of 16 Championship, 12 CB40 and 16 Friends Provident Twenty20 games will remain in place for next summer.

But the uncertainty over the fixtures has been a major

hindrance to clubs and supporters as everyone looks to plan ahead.

"There are two primary considerations from our point of view," added Kaye.

"First, we want to make sure our players are not being asked to undertake unrealistic journeys from one end of the country to another.

"Second, we want to minimise the amount of switching we have to do between the various competitions.

"Not knowing what the fixtures are hasn't helped in terms of planning and preparation, while you want the various membership packages to go on sale as quickly as possible.

"At the same time, we're very mindful of the problems the ECB have faced this year because of the domestic review."