A Long Road to Travel - 2009 Fixtures
Dec 18 2008
Jane Cable takes a look at Hampshire's 2009 fixture list
It is tempting to calculate the number of miles the typical County cricketer will travel during the 2009 season, if only because carbon footprint doesn’t seem to be particularly high on the ECB’s list of priorities when planning the First Class season. Yes, I know; it’s an incredibly difficult schedule to work out and familiarity with the British motorway system is an occupational hazard for cricketers, but there are still some real howlers in Hampshire’s fixture card for next year.
Like in August, when Yorkshire visit on the 5th for a floodlit Pro40, to be replaced by Lancashire for an LVCC match first thing next morning, but to return the next week for their own Championship game at The Rose Bowl. And a period of LVCC matches in June, slap bang in the middle of the Twenty20s, when Hampshire travel to Durham for four days from the 6th, face Notts at The Rose Bowl on the 11th and are expected to arrive bright eyed and bushy tailed at Liverpool on the 17th to play Lancashire.
Splitting the Twenty20 carnival down the middle is an innovation for the 2009 season and not a bad one, at that. Last year the cricketers who were not involved in shortest form of the game found the enforced mid season gap a bit too long, and it does break up the intensity of Twenty20 for spectators and players alike. However my assumption that it was done for the good of the domestic season turns out to be completely unfounded; it’s because the ICC World Twenty20 competition takes place at that time. Silly me.
Apart from the Twenty20 split the shape of the season remains fundamentally unchanged with the Friends Provident Trophy in April and May, Twenty20 in late May and June, and the final year of Pro40 following on from the middle of July. The Friends Provident itself is a little different, with the four groups drawn randomly rather than being selected on a geographical basis. This year Hampshire will play Ireland, Nottingham, Worcestershire and Leicestershire; a group that contains two teams we didn’t see at all at The Rose Bowl last year.
Hampshire’s all important County Championship campaign begins with newly promoted Worcestershire at home on 15th April and ends at Headingley Carnegie during the last week of September. To seal the Championship on home soil we would have to be sufficiently far ahead of the pack at the end of our game with Durham two weeks earlier, but doubtless we will leave it until the last to raise the trophy and bank the record £0.5m being offered in combined prize money and performance payment.
For the optimistic amongst us it is worth noting the key dates in the one day competitions and making sure our diaries are clear on 23rd May, 5th July and 25th July (Friends Provident quarters, semis and final) and 27th – 29th July and 15th August (Twenty20 quarters and finals day) so we can follow Hampshire all the way. Thankfully we have a pro-active Members’ Committee to organise coach travel to popular games, which cuts down on both the costs and the carbon. It’s up to us to make sure we support their efforts, as well as support our team.
View Hampshire's 2009 fixture list
The full 2009 county fixture list also available on the ECB website.
ECB 2009 Fixtures
(The Second XI fixture list will be published in January 2009)