In response to the domestic cricket fixtures for 2014 being announced this morning, Middlesex County Cricket Club’s Chief Executive Vinny Codrington had this to say…
“With the domestic cricket fixture schedule undergoing such a significant overhaul from the 2014 season onwards, there’s been plenty of anticipation surrounding the announcement of next year’s fixture calendar, and as you digest the scheduled list of matches and venues, I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s plenty to look forward to from a Middlesex County Cricket Club perspective.
"Things get underway for us next year in early April with a visit to Hove in the LV= County Championship, when we take on a Sussex side who finished strongly last year to claim third place in the Championship. Our opening match at Lord’s is again a four day encounter, when we host Nottinghamshire at the Home of Cricket just a week later.
"Of our eight home Championship matches, six of them will be contested at Lord’s, whilst Uxbridge remains on the calendar as one of our chosen out-ground venues, where we’ll host Somerset in early July.
"A continued desire to embrace the popularity of out-ground cricket around the county sees us also playing our first ever Championship match at Merchant Taylors’ School this year, after the success of our MCC University match held there in 2012. Sussex will be our opponents for this four-day game in late May.
"As a result of significant changes to the competition’s format, there are now seven home Twenty 20 group fixtures to get your teeth into, so it’s no surprise that we’ve had to be pretty innovative and creative in the scheduling of this competition’s fixtures to squeeze them all in.
"Firstly, after much planning, we’re delighted to announce that Middlesex are pioneering the competition’s first ever ‘double header’ fixture, when on Saturday 17 May Lord’s will host two back to back NatWest t20 Blast matches. This showpiece event will see the Panthers take on both the Essex Eagles and the Sussex Sharks.
"The day promises to be a magnificent spectacle, with over six hours of action packed entertainment on offer, and I’ve no doubt that it won’t be too long before we see other counties looking to emulate this kind of Twenty20 offering on their own fixture lists. Our thanks go to all at MCC for making this exciting ground-breaking fixture a reality.
"After the popularity and terrific attendances seen at both of our Thursday night floodlit Twenty20 matches last season, we have scheduled another two NatWest t20 Blast matches here at Lord’s next year, against Gloucestershire towards the end of June and Surrey in late July.
"Two of our other NatWest t20 Blast home encounters will be at out-grounds, with Richmond again featuring, and Merchant Taylors’ School also being utilised this year as a Twenty20 venue as part of the festival week.
"In June, Middlesex fans will get to see the Panthers play in London’s second Test arena, as our other NatWest t20 Blast match sees us cross over the river for another ‘home’ encounter at the KIA Oval, the ground where we successfully overcame Lancashire in the 2008 quarter final on our way to Trophy winning success on finals day. Let’s hope that 2008 provides an omen for a successful Panthers NatWest t20 Blast campaign in 2014. Surrey Cricket have been most accommodating in making this fixture happen, so our thanks go to them for their support in allowing us to utilise the KIA Oval for this match.
"The other major overhaul in next year’s format sees the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition being replaced with the return of domestic fifty over cricket and the launch of the Royal London One Day Cup. We begin our campaign with an away trip to Cardiff at the end of July, before finishing up just a month later against Kent at Canterbury. We’re delighted to announce that all four of our home group matches will be contested here at Lord’s in this competition, with Warwickshire, Somerset, Surrey and Nottinghamshire in opposition.
"The highlights of our 2014 fixture schedule are completed with an exciting one-day encounter, when we play host to the touring Indians at Lord’s on Friday 22 August, for what again promises to be another special occasion at the Home of Cricket and one that we hope will prove hugely popular with cricketing fans within and around the capital.
"Here’s hoping that we can all enjoy a successful 2014 season ahead, with us continuing to build on the progress we’ve made as a side under the leadership of Richard Scott and his support team.”
CLICK HERE to download a pdf copy of Middlesex's 2014 Fixtures.
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