Yorkshire To Open Against Champions Essex
- Yorkshire to face Champions Essex twice in the opening four weeks of the County Championship season.
- Championship fixtures at Scarborough against Surrey and Worcestershire set for Monday June 25 and Sunday August 19 respectively.
- The Club's Championship fixture away to Hampshire on June 20 will be a pink ball, day-night match.
- Royal London One-Day Cup begins on May 18 with a trip to Durham, the start of a 12-day period in which the Vikings will play six times.
- T20 Blast tickets go on universal sale in spring 2018.
- T20 opener against Durham Jets on Thursday July 5.
- Home Roses T20 clash to take place on Thursday August 9, with 2018 Members and Season Ticket holders able to reserve seats now.
Yorkshire will open the season and their Specsavers County Championship campaign against holders Essex at Emerald Headingley Stadium on Friday April 13.
In fact, the White Rose will face the defending champions twice in the opening four weeks of the season, with the contests against newly-appointed Essex head coach Anthony McGrath’s charges set to prove a useful barometer as to the Club’s title credentials in 2018.
“It makes it all the more real,” said First XI Coach Andrew Gale. “It drives you on in training when the fixtures come out. They look pretty good and with the two home games in the Championship to start with , we can make a good, solid start. We’ve made Headingley a bit of a fortress in previous years so it’s important we can get out of the blocks well.
“It will be a good test playing against the Champions Essex first up. You want to test yourself and if there’s ever a time to play Essex - before they get on some sort of run like they did last year - this could be it. You always look for the Roses matches too and they come a little later in 2018. These are all fixtures the players get excited about.”
Following home openers against Essex and Nottinghamshire, Andrew Gale’s side face a tricky 17-day period on the road, visiting Taunton, Chelmsford and the Kia Oval before a break in Championship action that is just short of six weeks.
Supporters can start to book themselves in to the hotels and guest houses of Scarborough with fixtures against Surrey and Worcestershire set for Monday June 25 and Sunday August 19 respectively.
“We love going to Scarborough and we’ve got some wrongs to put right,” Gale continued. “It’s been a massive success for us in the last five years and we’ve had a tremendous record there, but last year we lost both games so it’s something we want to put right. We want to go there and play the brand of cricket that we like to play and put on a good show on.”
Yorkshire's away trip to Hampshire in late June will be one of nine competition-wide day-night fixtures in 2018, but on this occasion they will be spread over four rounds and played with a pink ball.
The Club kick off the Royal London One-Day Cup by heading north to Durham on May 18, with three home matches against Warwickshire (Sun 20), Worcestershire (Wed 23) and Nottinghamshire (Fri 25) - the competition’s defending champions - in a period that will see the Vikings compete six times in 12 days.
Having recorded a 14% increase in attendances and its first circa 10,000 crowd outside of the Roses fixture, the Club will begin their quest to reach Finals Day when they take on rivals Durham Jets on Thursday July 5 in the T20 Blast.
The eagerly-awaited, much-anticipated home Roses clash is scheduled for Thursday August 9 and, with a reduced capacity due to ongoing redevelopment, demand is set to be greater than ever.
2018 Members and Season Ticket holders can reserve tickets for this fixture, online or via the ticket office right now! General admission tickets will be on sale in the spring.
Gale added: “I believe we played the best T20 cricket we’ve ever played last year . Our away form cost us qualification and it was so frustrating to see finals day, because I felt that had we got through the qualifying stages and got to the knockout stages, we could have won the competition. We were full of confidence, broke lots of records and we know the small areas we need to work on to get to the knockout stages this season. We are excited about that block of fixtures and we’ll put a lot of hard work in during the winter.”
The Club’s seventh and final home T20 will be against defending champions Nottinghamshire Outlaws (Aug 17), while the curtain will come down on the 2018 Championship season at New Road (Sep 24) against newly-promoted Worcestershire.
“It’s always an exciting time of the year and everybody eagerly looks forward to the programme,” CEO Mark Arthur told yorkshireccc.com. “We’ve got additional fixtures both at Emerald Headingley, where we’ve got a women’s International, and Scarborough where we’ve got an England U19s Test Match and a One-Day International against South Africa. Scarborough also get a Diamonds match too which gives them 13 days cricket, which is really pleasing.
“This year, Leeds is hosting three major events during the cricket season. The Tour de Yorkshire, the Leeds Half Marathon and the World Triathlon Series. Obviously, with all the road closures we’ve had to ask the ECB not the schedule any matches over those weekends which spans April and May. This has caused a knock-on effect as to when we can schedule the five Championship matches at Emerald Headingley this year. Consequently, there are two in April, two in September and one at the end of August This process has been quite problematic when you look at Championship cricket in isolation.
“We learned an awful lot of lessons from last season. The coaching staff and players have been forensic in looking at what went on last year. They’re looking to build on some of the positives, including the Club’s record total in the Blast and they will be looking to build on their experiences of last year. We have to be honest though and say that complacency set in from time-to-time with individuals and we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again this year.
“2017 was a huge warning shot to everybody connected with the Club and we will be on the money for that first match against Essex.”